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Deaf Linx Deaf Education Options Guide


Educational Philosophies:

There are many options to consider in deaf education:
  • Based on the deaf student's personality and natural communication style, will the student use speech, sign language, or both?
  • If the student signs, which type of sign language will be used?
  • Where will the student live and attend school?
  • What teaching philosophy will the school follow?
  • What are schools' legal responsibilities?

Ninety percent of Deaf children are born into hearing families, and most are not diagnosed as deaf until age 2-5 years old. They tend to have little to no language exposure (spoken OR signed) during their first years of life, causing a language development delay. Learning to read and write standard English is often a struggle for deaf students.

Deaf children (especially those with physical and mental disabilities) need direct instruction beginning as early as possible in order to teach them language and literacy skills. Several educational approaches are currently being used to teach deaf students:

  • Bilingual-Bicultural:
    American Sign Language is the only language used in the classroom. English is learn through exposure to printed materials.
  • Auditory/Oral:
    No sign language is used. English is learned through residual hearing (listening) and speech.
  • Total Communication:
    English is learned through auditory and visual exposure. A variety of sign systems may be used - Signed English, ASL, a combination of signed communication modes, speech and sign language used simultaneously, cued speech, etc.

Communication Modes::

Learning Environments:

  • Residential Schools for the Deaf
  • Day Schools
  • Early Intervention & Preschool Programs
  • Mainstreaming & Inclusion
  • Self-Contained Classrooms
  • Home School Environment

The original deaflinx.com site was written and authored by Amy Frasu. Deaf Linx is now run by Ericka Wiggins. Here are the Facebook and Twitter pages for Deaf Linx.