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Saturday, December 20, 2014

#Acessibilty Issues: Hearing Impaired Students - Getting Shafted?

Canadian Hearing Society Issues Position Paper on Post-Secondary Education!

A position paper issued by the Canadian Hearing Society points to ways discrimination against deaf and hard of hearing students face barriers in attaining career goals.  Several factors are highlighted which need to be eliminated in order to ensure equal access for deaf and hard of hearing students. What needs to be fixed in the post-secondary education?
Quite a lot.

CHS issues recommendations on improving access to post-secondary education for Deaf and hard of hearing students

Toronto, ON (December 19, 2014) - A new position paper issued by the Canadian Hearing Society (CHS) highlights the undue financial hardship and discrimination many Deaf and hard of hearing students face in their post-secondary studies.
There has been a significant decline in the enrolment of Deaf and hard of hearing Canadians at post-secondary educational institutions since 2000. The paper highlights the factors responsible for this decline including reduced government funding as a result of policies and systemic barriers.
 CHS's position is that when secondary and post-secondary education is not easily affordable or accessible, Deaf and hard of hearing post-secondary students experience unfair treatment that has the potential to deprive them of future careers and economic independence. These barriers include inadequate access to language and literacy education; higher costs of post-secondary education and limited financial supports; a critical shortage of qualified interpreters and CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation) which limits program availability; and attitudinal barriers or audism from educators as experienced by students.
The position paper on “Challenges and Issues Affecting Access to Post-Secondary Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students” recommends collaborative and targeted action with key stakeholders to develop a coordinated response to address these serious barriers facing Deaf and hard of hearing students in order to ensure equitable and meaningful access to education. CHS makes 10 recommendations, including developing programs to support Deaf and hard of hearing students; providing supports for Canadian students attending post-secondary education in the US; reviewing government funding programs to support students; expanding programs in ASL/LSQ, Deaf studies and CART programs; establishing best practices in interpreting and CART provision; and providing attitudinal training for faculty and staff.
 Deaf and hard of hearing post-secondary students have the right to fair and equitable treatment and to participate equally in secondary and post-secondary education.
This position paper was approved by the CHS Board of Directors on November 29, 2014. Read the full position paper available in English and French. Énoncé de principe disponible en français. At the link in related links below.
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