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From:  Ted Hart
Date:  Tue Dec 14, 1999  10:32 pm
Subject:  Re: Future of Deaf Education

>Hi Ted, and welcome to the SignWriting List. Feel free to introduce your
>work to us...
>I remember you wrote to me, and I believe you told me that you are the only
>Deaf student in your university Deaf-Education that right?
>I bet that gives you a unique perspective...what do you think of
>SignWriting in regards to the future of Deaf Education?
>Val ;-)

I'm just a college student who happens to be deaf and believe that there
needs to be a great improvement in deaf schools. I'm technically not the
only deaf student here..I'm the only one in the Deaf Education major though.
There's a deaf/blind student that's majoring in the journalism field...I
do have a problem understanding her becuase due to her limited vision field
she signs very limited to her vision (I don't know why that should be
but...) and she signs very English...some of those signs aren't used those
days so I have a hard time still with that and I'm due to take an Signed
Exact English course in the fall. I'm dreading that because I know I'm not
gonna like learning it! But in a way, I still have to because it's a course
requirement..I got waived on a few others after I put up a big ruckus and
was referred to the bigwigs. Had a meeting with them and was told that I
was the first deaf person to have the courage to come and have a meeting.
Accordingly to my deaf professor...there's been only maybe..15 deaf students
but only two graduated.

The deaf students didn't know that they were waived from taking the exit
tests which are an requirement in order to's allowed in Texas
so I don't know about other states. Apparently I'm the first one who asked
and found out the info. Alot of the course cirrculum is outdated...alot of
requirements to take Signed Exact English courses and Audiological courses
which I find terribly irrevelant to teaching deaf students. Right now,
they're working on revamping the cirrculum in order to make it more
flexible. I'm replacing the courses that I requested not to take with
courses in Special Education because there are more deaf students with
multiple disablities nowdays compared to deaf students born deaf or whatnot.
I've been invited to attend group meetings to help develop the new
cirrculum...former students who have graduated from Stephen F. Austin State
University ( have been asked to participate as well.

I find it ironic that this is the only program in Texas which promotes total
ASL communication with a few SEE courses thrown in. We have the largest
number of Deaf Education graduates compared to other universities and
colleges in Texas who promote SEE systems which is outdated. They keep
saying that SEE is still revelant because it teaches students to write good
English. I feel that the major reason I have such a good command of English
is because I started school when I was a baby..before I started crawling as
a matter of fact.

I do agree that SFA students should take, at least, one audiological course
as an introductory course but the teacher who teaches those courses tend to
go in too deep. Basically in other words, the speech therapy major and Deaf
education majors are virtually the same! So it's been changed although I
highly doubt that they will drop the audiological courses or make it a
different type of course because alot of professors are very unflexible in
their ways of thinking.

Other than that, this university is great and friendly with a small
population of students which is good.

Ted Hart

p.s. SFA is in Nacogdoches, Texas (East Texas)
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