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Research & Resources

How We Met in the Middle: Rethinking Deaf Education

Ralph G. Leverett, Ph.D., University Professor of Special Education, Hendersonville

November 1, 2006 - Polarization has been the hallmark of Deaf Education since its beginning. This presentation describes the synthesis of Oralism and Total Communication in a State School setting. Many, if not most, State Schools follow a manual approach with American Sign Language (ASL) as the guiding framework. Our approach consists of an Oral curriculum, a Signed English base, and the expectation that all students may become oral. We are realistic, however, and support effective communication regardless of the type. We propose that Deaf Education consider a “communication continuum” rather than distinct, and sometimes opposing, communication methods.

October 2006 Tennessee Association of Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists Nashville, TN


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