June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Minorities in Engineering
24.120.1 - 24.120.13
A Teaching Model for Teaching Deaf/Hard-of-hearing and Hearing Students with Course Accessibility and Real World Product DesignTeaching engineering for deaf/hard-of-hearing (D/HoH) students presents several challenges aswell as many rewards. For D/HoH students to be mainstreamed into a regular engineeringprogram presents a series of barriers that they need to overcome. D/HoH student’s learningcharacteristics are more like as foreign students since for them, written and spoken English istheir second language with a steep learning curve to learn it at the same time they assimilateengineering course material.Engineering course material is not developed or considers any type of learning accessibility toD/HoH students. While the university provides resources (such as e.g. sign language interpreters,note takers, real time captioning and specialized mentoring faculty), the instructor in theclassrooms sometimes are not suited for the learning environment of a D/HoH student. As anexample, during a regular lecture, D/HoH students have to be paying attention to the presentationslides while taking notes on the content written on the whiteboard, looking for instructor’sexpressions and at the same time understanding at the sign language interpreter’s messages.What’s even more challenging is that sign language is an idea oriented language not a verboseword by word interpretation.Given the above challenges, we are proposing modifications to courses, classroom environmentand overall D/HoH experience through an engineering program. We have several success storiesby guiding students through this new process with the access service support and departmentsinvolved. In addition, some D/HoH students had the opportunity to participate in cooperativeeducation learning at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) Center on AccessTechnology (CAT) Innovation Laboratory, where students are working on real world design ofengineering products supervised by the faculty from Engineering Technology (ET) and NTIDdepartments.The experience and proposed modifications start at the freshman-level courses to the advancedsenior design projects. The objectives are to integrate team building skills, multidisciplinarycollaboration, and good engineering practices. Students have been so engaged developingproducts and they have had opportunities to present their work to small and large audiences suchas the university innovation festival which is a family and industry oriented event.Based on the author’s experiences in teaching, researching, supervising and collaborating withD/HoH students, we would like to present some success stories to build the framework to presentmodifications to be incorporated to courses, university infrastructure, personal mentorship andopportunities to make D/HoH succeed and build the skills for a fruitful career in differentengineering disciplines. Through the enhancement for the D/HoH students, all other hearingstudents will also benefit from it.
Behm, G. W., & Mondragon, A. F. (2014, June), A Teaching Model for Teaching Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing and Hearing Students with Course Accessibility and Real World Product Design Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20012
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