Working with d/Deaf students - a one day workshop for Lecturers teaching Art, Design and Communication
Workshop presenters: • Diane Peacock, Project Director (Special Projects), School of Art and Design, University of Wolverhampton • Cathy Woolley • Judith Mole, Director, Direct Learn Services Ltd.
Practicalities • Food • Emergency evacuations • Toilets
Programme of the Day • Welcome and introductions • Brief outline of HEFCE funded projects • Aims of workshop • SENDA • Issues in Deafness • Supporting d/Deaf Students in Art and Design • A Deaf art student perspective • Break for lunch • Art and Design academic culture and language • Teaching, Learning and Assessment and strategies for inclusion • Conclusions and any final questions
Workshop Outcomes • At the end of the workshop delegates will: • Be more d/Deaf aware • Have a better understanding of the needs of d/Deaf students • have a repertoire of pedagogic tools specifically designed to make learning environments inclusive • Be aware of SENDA legislation and its implications for curriculum design and delivery • Have access to further sources of information and resources to share amongst colleagues
University of WolverhamptonInnovations Projects 2000 - 2002 • Extending education and career opportunities for the Deaf community with particular reference to developing generic and subject specific language skills
The five projects - outcomes • A careers web site which promotes current art and design graduates and practitioners as role models for the Deaf community • A level 0 English for Deaf Learners course • A specialist online British Sign Language/English glossary for art and design education (www.artsigns.ac.uk)
The five projects - outcomes • A guidance booklet for lecturers working with Deaf students • Staff development events for lecturers and technicians in teaching and assessing Deaf students
Special Educational Needs and Disability Rights Act 2001 An amendment to the Disability Discrimination Act 1995
SEN and Disability Act 2001 • ‘comprehensive enforceable civil rights’ for disabled people in pre- and post-16 education in England, Scotland and Wales. It has major implications for further and higher education institutions. • The law will make it unlawful to ‘unjustifiably’ treat a disabled person less favourably for a reason relating to their disability. Specifically, the law will make it unlawful to discriminate against a disabled person with regard to: • admissions • the services the college provides to students
SEN and Disability Act 2001 • This means that a college cannot refuse admission to a student on the grounds of their disability, and the college has an obligation to make reasonable adjustments so that disabled students can access the same services their able-bodied peers can access. • An anticipatory dutyInstitutions will be expected to anticipate the needs of disabled students and applicants in making their provision accessible.
SEN and Disability Act 2001 • "The majority of case law has related to teaching and learning issues, either through direct discrimination regarding access to a course (or modules) or the inability to provide materials in alternative format in a timely manner which invariably has led to students having to defer their studies." • (Disability And Higher Education : The Australian Experience, Adams and Brown, 2001).
Exemptions to the Act • college is not liable and where the adjustments would be seen as unreasonable. The college is not liable: - • - if the student or applicant has chosen not to declare their disability; • - if adjustment would undermine/lessen academic standards; • - they are prescribed by an external body (e.g. medical/health courses, dentistry or teacher training, some dance courses).
Appropriate Terminology Don’t use Instead use handicapped, invalid disabled non-disabled, hearing, sighted normal Deaf, hard of hearing, partially deaf/hearing deaf and dumb Deaf, blind, wheelchair user impaired Non-disabled, hearing, sighted, non-dyslexic able-bodied Person with a specific learning difficulty/ disability, person with Down’s Syndrome Retarded, simple-minded
Facts and figures • The population of the UK is approximately 60 Million. • Approximately 8.4 million people have a hearing loss (1 in 7). • There are approximately 70,000 Deaf BSL users in the UK. • 75% of people over the age of 75 have a hearing loss.
Facts and figures • 9 out of 10 deaf children are born to hearing parents. • There are approximately 400 RQI/RTI interpreters in Britain. • The ratio of interpreters to Deaf people is approximately 1:175.
Facts and figures • Only 40% of the English speech sounds are lip-readable. • Most lip reading is guess work from the context of what is being said. • Different regional accents look different on the lips. • Some invisible speech sounds have an impact on written English.
Deaf Education • 1890 Milan Conference • > 1960s Oralism • 1970s Total Communication • 1980s Bilingualism • System is LEA dependent • There are now less segregated schools in the UK.
Deaf Education • Most independent schools are residential • They do not have to follow the national curriculum, although most do. • Many schools have a Partially Hearing Unit. • SENDA applies to schools, so many deaf children will go into mainstream education in the future.
British Sign Language • Deaf people use many communication modes. • BSL is a language, not a collection of gestures. • BSL is not international and has regional dialects. • Deaf people who use BSL will normally use English as their second language.
Interpreting in Art and Design • They offer simultaneous translation. • Students only access what is presented by the interpreter. • When unknown specialist terminology is used, linguistic coping strategies are used: • Initialisation • Finger spelling • Sign invention • Transliteration
Other communication support • Note-takers write at 30wpm. Spoken language is at 180wpm. • Note-takers may not be subject specialists. • Note-takers are required to write everything. • Students need to juggle between what they’ve seen in a lecture and what is written down. • Lip-speaking is difficult with new unfamiliar terminology. • There are many words which look the same.
A deaf art student perspective • Interview procedures • individual access needs • additional support at interviews must be provided • funding must be available for this • Inform prospective course leaders • Do remember the interpreter is not just there for the deaf student but for you too! • Don’t make assumptions on what a deaf person can and cannot do.
A deaf art student perspective • Making the transition • Many young deaf people become accustomed to others asserting control over their lives. • Transition to being independent and feeling like an ‘adult’ can just that little bit harder. • Fighting for better access provision can eat away at their motivation and enthusiasm for their course.
A deaf art student perspective • Developing assertiveness • Isolation • Lack of awareness of responsibilities and procedures - before university deaf students don’t necessarily need to know this. • Short notice meetings and lack of access • Group work and peer learning • Equal opportunity or favouritism? • Maintaining your confidence against the odds
A deaf art student perspective • Developing assertiveness • Do ensure there is support and advice available for deaf students. • Do continue to assess if access provision is put in place is working or needs improving. • Do ensure lecturers are trained in deaf awareness.
A deaf art student perspective • ‘Fitting in’ • Language • Time needed to absorb academic and art and design terminology • Working with interpreters • Connecting words seen with words written • The need for ‘eye-breaks’ • Extra, additional study is needed to keep up
A deaf art student perspective • Conclusions • Planning, preparing and providing good access can: • Reinforce their motivation and commitment to a deaf students course and future careers. • Allow deaf students to focus on their personal, social and academic development. • Transform deaf student’s lives by facilitating confidence and independence.
How might linguistics help us to define an “academic” culture? • According to Steven Pinker (1994): “Culture” refers to the process whereby particular kinds of learning contagiously spread from person to person in a community and minds become co-ordinated into shared patterns, just as a “language” or a “dialect” refers to the process whereby the different speakers in a community acquire highly similar mental grammars.
Language issues in HE • Complex specialist terminology • Understood by subject specialists • Heavy reliance on tacit knowledge and priorunderstanding of key concepts and terminology. • Critical/contextual language concepts often difficult and open to misinterpretation. • Utilises many homographs and homophones, e.g. “form”. • Uses many ‘borrowed’ words, e.g. “bat”, “render”, “pushing”.
Complex specialist language • Some common themes and terms • But many inherent differences between the language used and its meanings in art/design/craft/media
Some of the language functions in art and design • Describing • Discussing • Evaluating • Ascribing meaning • Confirming understanding
Language (for example descriptive, metaphorical, evaluative language) is used to help students develop - • Visual thinking • Ideas development • Design development • Creative thinking • Abstract thinking • Making by doing • Issue based activity • Critical argument
Critical language skills enable students to explore and express - • Rationale • Creative intention • Context • Meaning • Relationship to audience • Value • Ethical position • Fitness for purpose
Polemical use of language helps students to understand how to - • Articulate their own ideas and intentions based on own values • Argue cogently for particular solutions • Articulate controversy • Defend chosen values
Staff and students use metaphorical language extensively to articulate meaning. This includes use of: • Sign and signification • Symbol • Representation • Motivational intent • Association • Intentional and random connections contributing to process and product
Meaning and intention is established and qualitative judgements made by interrogating for example- • If appropriate, how the work does or does not meet the demands of the “brief”? • What the work is about/who or what it is for? • What sources and references informed the work? • Reasons and justification for how it is designed (created)/ made and the materials and process selected. • Reasons and justification for how it will be manufactured, distributed and/or displayed • What impact (if any) have current visual/cultural/ social/political/economic factors had on how the work developed?
We need to add to these factors - • Awareness that for many Deaf students English is a second language. • The fact that Deaf students access meaning through an interpreter, lip-speaker or note-taker (the majority of whom will not be specialist language users). • Further complicated by the need to understand the meta-language of current higher education (modules/outcomes/assessment regimes etc).
and - • That confirmation of learning is usually confirmed by discourse: • “It is discourse which propels language acquisition, and it is shared meaning in interaction which is of critical importance. It is this which is most at risk in children with limited hearing” Kyle and Woll (1988)
Deaf students and language acquisition • Students may see many different signs for one word. • They may not be able to relate their notes to what they have seen in a lecture or laboratory session. • A high degree of bilingualism is needed to cope with HE study. • There is little BSL/English reference material available.
Teaching, Learning and Assessment: Inclusive practice in Art, Design and Communication
Re-iteration of Deaf students’ needs and characteristics • All d/Deaf students are individuals and have individual needs. • Deaf students use a variety of communication methods to suit their particular needs as a Deaf person. • Depending on when the person became deaf, they will have variable levels of confidence and skills in the use of English. • Many Deaf people do not use English as their first language.
Teaching Issues • Identifying ‘good practice’ in teaching Deaf students. • Understanding the relationship between physical environment (sound, lighting, classroom layout, etc.) and learning. • Understanding how different approaches to classroom management can affect the Deaf student. • Working with support staff to maximise learning.
Teaching Issues • Understanding how good communication can increase access to learning for Deaf students. • Understanding the significance of ‘plain English’ and the provision of explanatory glossaries for Deaf students in the acquisition of specialist skills and knowledge at introductory HE level.
What can academics do? • Provide information/handouts in advance of any teaching session. • Use plain English and include glossaries where possible. This enables Deaf students and support workers to better absorb the content of both your written and oral material. • Work closely with interpreters and other support workers to understand their needs and thereby maximise their input. • Make sure you manage ‘classroom interaction’.