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Educational Issues for Sensory Disabilities Created by Matt Maurer, Ph.D.

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Presentation on theme: "Educational Issues for Sensory Disabilities Created by Matt Maurer, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:

1 Educational Issues for Sensory Disabilities Created by Matt Maurer, Ph.D.

2 The Sensory Disabilities  Blind AKA Low vision Blind is a PC term  Deaf AKA Hearing impaired AKA Hard of hearing Deaf is a PC term

3 Organizing Concepts on Sensory Disabilities  The deficit model is strongest here  The disability is not tragic for most deaf or blind people, it is their “normal”  These disabilities have real limitations, AND they are minimal (think difficulty, not impossibility)

4 Blind Orienting Ideas  The blind comprise organizational joiners and non-joiners  The organized blind see themselves as an oppressed minority  Braille is their “print” medium  The blind tend to be technology “early adopters”

5 The Most Important Thing I Have Learned Working with Blind Children  Blind children do not want to be pitied  Blind children want to be like sighted peers  It is both easy and common to enable dependent behavior  Many developmentally delayed children are mislabeled MMH  Many blind children are very reflective  Kids are kids (talents are lurking there, and we must find them)

6 The Early Development of Blind Children  The process for a parent of a blind child is often much like death  Blind children are often asked to sit and wait  “Now, don’t touch,” can further disable

7 Literacy Issues for Blind Children  Braille is critical (level I and II)  Large print is over-used  Technology will replace Braille when we abandon reading altogether  Level I and II Braille  Talking books (Daisy standard)

8 Organizations Serving the Needs of Blind Children  The National Federation of the Blind (NFB), parents divisions, and state affiliates  American Council of the Blind (ACB) and state affiliates  The American Printing House for the Blind (APH)

9 So What Should a Teacher Do?  Keep the mind active  Remember they “see” with their hands (keep those hands “looking”)  Continue to challenge our tendency to enable dependence  Maintain appropriately high expectations

10 Deaf Organizing Ideas  A strong Deaf community exists  There are community joiners and non- joiners  American Sign Language is their first language (English is their second!)  The deaf are also often technology early adopters

11 What I have Picked up about Deaf Children  They too want to be treated as equal to their hearing peers (in many ways)  English language is often delayed (ESL), causing misdiagnosis  Kids are kids – again, talents are abundant!

12 Early Development of Deaf Children  Deaf parents make a great difference (inclusion in Deaf culture)  Parental acceptance parallels those of blind children, but maybe not as severe  Some “sit and wait” parallels but again, maybe not as severe

13 Literacy Issues  “Speaking” one language and reading another  Parental denial can lead to late learning of ASL  Balance between ASL and English is often off

14 Organizations Serving the Needs of Deaf Children  National Organization of the Deaf (NAD)  The American Society for Deaf Children  Gallaudet University  National Technical Institute for the Deaf

15 So What Should a Teacher Do?  Learn ASL (as best you can!!)  Do not further enable  Support English a strong balance between “spoken” and written language  Focus on the child’s brilliance, not the deficit

16 A Final Reminder The more they are different, the more kids are just kids. Treat them like kids, not like disabled kids!!

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