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Deaf Education is a broad and diverse professional field that centers on the education of
children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Teachers often concentrate their studies in early
childhood education, elementary education, or a secondary content area. Teachers of
students who are deaf or hard of hearing become experts in language acquisition and the
unique learning and communication needs of their students. Sometimes areas
of expertise that intersect Deaf Education. For example, some university graduates who
majored in Deaf Education have become transition specialists who work with students who
are transitioning from school to work. Others function as educational interpreters and
academic tutors in inclusive settings. Some may work with families of newly diagnosed deaf
or hard of hearing infants and support the family during the early months as they confront
and learn the challenges of raising a deaf or hard of hearing child. There are many other
areas in which Deaf Educators expand their careers such as speech language pathology,
career technology, audiology, school counseling, social work, educational administration,
etc.

Deaf Education provides a great foundation and career options for individuals who are
interested in working with this unique population of students.

Deaf Educators work in several different settings. They work in private schools for the deaf
such as the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf in Philadelphia, St. Joseph's™ School for the
Deaf in St. Louis, or The Learning Center for Deaf Children in Framingham, MA.

Educators work in state-supported residential schools for the deaf such as the Texas
School for the Deaf in Austin, the Maryland School for the Deaf in Frederick, or the
California School for the Deaf in Fremont. Most states have a residential school for the
deaf, which provides educational services deaf and hard of hearing children throughout the
state. Sometimes the students live on campus, going home on weekends. Often families
move to be near the school so their children can live at home and still take advantage of
the educational program.

Deaf Educators also work throughout our public school system in various roles. Deaf
Educators who work in a public school setting often are itinerant teachers who travel, much
like speech pathologists, from school to school providing consultation and individual
services. In addition, Deaf Educators working in public schools serve as resource room
teachers, providing academic support for children mainstreamed into the regular
education classes. And, sometimes, especially when there is a magnet program with a large
enrollment of deaf and hard of hearing students, Deaf Educators teach self-contained
classes similar to other teachers in the public school setting.

Colleges and universities offer both undergraduate and graduate programs in Deaf
Education. Depending on where you live, both options may be available to you.

There are several types of Deaf Education Teacher Preparation programs from which to
choose a program of study.

Oral-Aural Programs ~ University teacher preparation programs that focus on the
preparation of oral-aural teachers emphasize audiology, aural rehabilitation, and
techniques for speech development in addition to specialized teaching strategies. Many
programs following the oral-aural philosophy work with children who have received cochlear
implants and, therefore, prepare Deaf Educators to work in a therapeutic setting.

Bilingual-Bicultural Programs ~ University teacher preparation programs that focus on the
preparation of bilingual-bicultural teachers emphasize learning American Sign Language as
a first language and bridge to the development of English (or any other spoken language).
These programs also value Deaf Culture as one of the many cultures represented by the
diverse student population. Majoring in this area requires one to become proficient in
American Sign Language and knowledgeable in the visual learning needs of deaf and hard
of hearing students.

Comprehensive Programs ~ Most university teacher preparation programs in the United
States belong to this category. Comprehensive programs provide majors with a variety of
techniques in order to prepare them to be versatile enough to work with children who are
deaf or hard of hearing in a variety of settings. In addition to courses in instructional
strategies, comprehensive programs may offer coursework in audiology, speech pathology,
aural rehabilitation, and sign language. Some programs offer courses in communication
systems such as cued speech or signed English. Others provide courses in American Sign
Language. Colleges and universities vary in their entry requirements. Please contact the
institutions in which your are interested for further information.
Maryland School for the Deaf St Joseph's
Pennsylvania School for the Deaf
Texas School for the Deaf
For a complete list of deaf education
teacher training programs go to
www.deafed.net
Copyright 2011 ACE-DHH   Chad E. Smith & Sherry Ernsberger, Webmasters
csmith17@twu.edu