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Supporting Successful Transitions for Deaf Students

Supporting Successful Transitions for Deaf Students

Deafness is not a learning disability. With the right support and accommodations, Deaf and hard-of-hearing students can achieve the same outcomes as other students. Being prepared and getting off to a good start helps to ensure the success of Deaf students. Research (Young et al, 2015) suggests that there are seven crucial factors in the successful transitions of Deaf students into higher education. 

  1. Person-centered approach: Adopt a person-centered, goal-oriented process that engages the student in identifying their strengths, needs, and preferences. 

2. Accessible transition process: Provide communication access for students and parents throughout the process, including orientations and initial meetings. 

3. Providing learning opportunities: Provide students with hands-on experiences that will transform their career options from theories to reality. 

4. Ensuring understanding of the transition process: Ensure the student understands what the transition process to life on campus entails and the choices they will need to make. 

5. Working in partnership: Instructors, advisors, students, and parents need to work together to ensure the student is prepared to be successful in their transition to college life. 

6. Being open-minded to a range of options: Present the full range of course options to students by focusing on their interests instead of their perceived abilities. 

7. Starting the transition process early: The sooner a relationship is established with the student, the better! 

Be Prepared to Share Resources

Students often look to their advisors when navigating the scholarship application process. There are many scholarships uniquely offered to Deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Here are some of the most prominent scholarships to be aware of:

  1. The Google Lime Scholarship: Google’s scholarship programs aim to break down barriers that prevent students from entering the computing and technology fields. Google has partnered with Lime Connect to support students with disabilities looking to enter these fields. Full-time computer science students that identify as Deaf or hard-of-hearing can apply for this $10,000 scholarship. 
  2. Sertoma’s Scholarship for the Hard of Hearing or Deaf: Sertoma is an organization that aims to make a difference in hearing health and the lives of those with hearing loss. Undergraduate students with 40dB bilateral hearing loss and a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or higher are encouraged to apply. In 2022, 35 students from colleges across the country received the $1,000 scholarship. 
  3. Wells Fargo Scholarship Program: Wells Fargo offers scholarships to undergraduates with an identified disability. Their program will award $2,500 in renewable scholarships for full-time students and $1,250 in renewable scholarships for part-time students. Wells Fargo plans on accepting 700 applications for 2023. 
  4. Cochlear Scholarships: Cochlear offers scholarships to students who are recipients of Cochlear implants including the Cochlear Nucleus, Baha, or Osia. The Graeme Clark Scholarship is offered to Cochlear Nucleus implant recipients. The Anders Tjellstrom Scholarship is offered to Baha and Osia implant recipients. The Cochlear Vocational Scholarship is offered to recipients of any Cochlear device that enrolled in a technical, vocational, or trade school. All scholarships are worth $2,000 per year. 
  5. Louise Tumarkin Zazove Foundation Scholarship: This foundation provides college scholarships to Americans with hearing loss to promote equal chances in a hearing society. Undergraduate students with significant bilateral hearing loss are encouraged to apply. The scholarship has been awarded to over 40 recipients and provides approximately $3,800 per recipient for yearly tuition.

The Best Resource is an Experienced Partner

With nearly 30 years of experience in providing communication accommodations for higher education institutions, DSU has the tools to ensure Deaf and hard-of-hearing students are supported on your campus. We are experts in managing student schedules and preparing faculty and staff to work with Deaf students. If you have questions about providing communication access or you are interested in partnering with DSU, contact us today.