Laurent Clerc--also known as 'The Father of the Deaf'--was born on December 26, 1785 in La Balme-les-Grottes, France.
Last Monday was the birthday of Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet. Gallaudet was born December 10, 1787 in Philadelphia, Penn. Traditionally the university pays tribute to Gallaudet and to Laurent Clerc--whose birthday is also in December--for their contributions to the education of deaf children in the United States. Happy Birthday Gallaudet and Clerc!
Peggy Hayeslip, (front row, right), director of ADA Compliance and Disability Services at Johns Hopkins University, was the speaker at a November 9 Learning Disabilities Forum for faculty and staff. The event, entitled "Addressing the Learning Disabilities Disconnect: A Model for Accommodations and Teaching,” was sponsored by the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSWD) and coordinated by its director Dr. Patricia Tesar (front row, center). Hayeslip addressed the current “disconnects” faced by postsecondary institutions as they attempt to qualify students suspected of having a learning disability without appropriate documentation. These disconnects begin when high school students transition to college but do not have sufficient documentation to substantiate a learning disabilities diagnosis. This lack of documentation hinders efforts to determine eligibility for disability services and reasonable and appropriate accommodations. Disability support is further complicated when students request accommodations for multiple disabling conditions. It is not unusual, according to Hayeslip, for students with learning disabilities to also be diagnosed with an attention deficit disorder or a psychological disability. Hayeslip also discussed current trends in reasonable accommodations and instructional strategies using a universal design model. Universal design is a conceptual framework for designing and developing inclusive environments. It stems from the attitude that environments are disabling to individuals and that they could be designed in ways that are usable by a majority of people with a variety of personal differences. Universal design reframes the concept of accessibility from “special features for a few” to “good design for many.” Also pictured are (from left): front row--Janet Byrne, OSWD senior low vision specialist; back row--Arthur Roehrig, OSWD counselor; James Akridge, OSWD coordinator; Dr. William Kachman, Mental Health Center associate director; and Edgar Palmer, CAPSS associate dean.
Following her November 14 presentation, Dr. Constance Staley (left), an internationally recognized expert in higher education pedagogy, talks with Dr. Ian Sutherland, an associate professor in the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and Dr. Kathleen Wood, an associate professor in the Department of English, about techniques she has found useful in helping college students become motivated learners. The National Survey of Student Engagement shows that nearly one-third of today's first-year students do just enough academic work to get by. In so doing, they shortchange themselves and, in fact, miss much of what college is really about. In her Gallaudet presentation, "MISSION POSSIBLE: Teaching Strategies to Help Today's Students Realize Their Potential," Staley, a professor of communication and director of the freshmen Seminar Program at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, offered practical, innovative strategies for faculty members to use in their own classrooms to improve attendance and help students see the relevance of the courses they take—even if they appear unrelated to their majors. Staley is the author of Teaching College Success and 50 Ways to Leave Your Lectern.
Students Keith Doane (left) and Ryan Commerson stand in front of their deaf space display at the Washington, D.C. Economic Partnership Annual Meeting and Development Showcase on November 16. The students, who are part of the three-year Deaf Space Project with visiting architect Hansel Bauman, narrated the concept of deaf space for developers at the expo and made a link to what it could mean for future development in the D.C. area.
When we watch another person signing in ASL, what kinds of information help us capture some signs more quickly than others? Dr. Gaurav Mathur, an assistant professor in the Department of Linguistics, shared findings from his research that seek to answer that question at a November 28 presentation, "The Role of Phonology in the Perception of ASL." Mathur reported on psycholinguistic experiments which revealed that properties like hand shape, location, and movement indeed affect the perception of a sign in ways that have implications for how ASL processing works. Mathur said he chose this particular study because ASL is a visual-manual language, and he wanted to understand how much of an impact the visual-manual property has on the linguistic structure of ASL. He has been working on this study and other similar studies for the past few years, since his post-doctoral training at the Haskins Laboratories in New Haven, Conn. His studies, which have focused on about 30 college-age subjects at a time, have been funded by grants from the National Institutes of Health to the Haskins Laboratories.
Provost Stephen Weiner and communications studies professor Dr. Jane Norman (standing together at center) formally began the process of creating a museum of deaf history at Gallaudet when Dr. Weiner accepted Dr. Norman’s written premise on December 4. Other members of the Museum Committee, which has been meeting since September, include (from left) Elizabeth Stone, assistant director of corporate and individual giving in the Office of Development; Dr. Brian Greenwald, associate professor and coordinator of the Deaf History Certificate program in the Department of Government and History; Ulf Hedberg, director of Archives; Daphne Cox, associate director of Alumni Relations; Dr. Carolyn McCaskill, associate professor in the Department of ASL and Deaf Studies; and Edgar Palmer, associate dean of Center for Academic Programs and Student Services. According to the premise, the museum will present the complex and diverse history of deaf people in America. Although there is substantial interest in deaf history conferences, museums created by state residential schools for the deaf, and the History Through Deaf Eyes project, the United States lacks a national museum chronicling the American deaf experience. Given Gallaudet’s interconnection with deaf history and the fact that its Vision Statement calls the preservation of deaf history one of its “vast resources,” it seemed logical for the University to take on this task. As the next step, Norman
will serve as curator and work with the core committee to form the basic concept of the museum.
Franklin Torres, an instructor in the Department of Applied Literacy, is recognized for five years of service to the University by department chair Carie Palmer. Torres is also a Ph.D. candidate in post-secondary and adult education, focusing on literacy.