Updated: Nov 8, 2020
(the pictures by the author)
Hello everyone. I want to talk about some of the differences between my deaf schools in Maryland and Texas and my university in Virginia. The difference between my schools and university are communication, classroom instruction, and two different laws for students with disabilities. I have great feelings and my confidence about things in both schools.
My deaf schools and my university have different ways of communicating, providing accommodations, and classroom instruction. There are two different laws covering people with special needs at my Deaf schools and my university. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) cover K-12 schools including my Deaf schools. The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) for employments, universities, including my university. The two different laws can be confusing to me because the laws have different accommodations, but I am so blessed to have wonderful laws to help me to be successful with education and jobs.
The cool thing about going to a Deaf school is everyone speaks the same language. Hearing people and Deaf people both know American Sign Language (ASL) in my schools and other Deaf schools. I had some Deaf teachers and some hearing teachers. My Deaf schools try to teach kids like me things based on visual and some things based on the sounds. The only difference was that some of my friends stayed in a dorm during the week and went home to see their families on weekends while I went home to see my family every day.
During my high school years, when I participated in some activities, like cheerleading, robotics, plays, and leadership retreat, sometimes I would stay in the dorm because we had very busy days and late activities or practices and it was easier than going home. I can’t compare my school to other schools that my friends went to because I only went to Deaf schools when I was growing up. I learned about the same subjects, but I also learned about deaf history and deaf culture in addition to the normal subjects like English, math, science, and social studies or history.
(the picture by the author)
I am so proud to be Deaf and my deaf schools helped me to grow my Deaf identify. When I learned about Deaf history, I fell in love with Deaf history and I am so happy that I able to have amazing Deaf role models like Marlee Martin, Nyle Dimarco, Claudia Gordon, Haben Girma, CJ Jones, etc. I feel confidence about my knowable in my subjects and my education when I was in Deaf schools. Lot people ask me if I miss being at a Deaf school. I say that sometimes, I do. Of course, I miss my friends, but the biggest thing that I miss is communications access to everything at school. When there were the events at school, everyone was signing. If it was open to everyone including hearing people, there were interpreters. It was very inclusive.
I am happy being at Hampton University. Even though I am only Deaf person here, I have learned so much, not just in class but in life lessons like how to fight for myself to get accommodations. My university teach kids and me things based on the sounds more than vision. When I am in my university, I am learning about hearing culture and black culture more. Now that I am at Hampton University, I am so proud to be a black woman and my school helped me to grow my black identify more. When I am learning about black history, I fall in love with black history and I am so happy that I able to have very amazing black role models like Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman, Ruby Bridges, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, etc. I feel confident about my writing and my education when I am at my university. I feel more confident about my writing even writing is tough for me because my first language is American Sign Language (ASL). My second language is English. It is ironic because English is my favorite subject since my freshman in high school even though I still struggle with writing. I am still learning about writing and different things about hearing culture but I love my Home by the Sea.