Research to improve education for deaf students

education

© Sanja Gjenero - Sxc

A new partnership research project has been set up to pinpoint the types of teaching and services that deaf students need for their educational development.

The three partners in the project are New Mexico State University’s Communication Disorders Program, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the National Technical Institute of the Deaf’s Center for Research Partnerships. The project is funded by a USD 2.3 million grant from the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The project will look at three groups of college students: deaf students who have cochlear implants, deaf students who do not have cochlear implants, and students with normal hearing. The research team is exploring how spoken language and sign language skills relate to and influence each other. The team is also measuring verbal and nonverbal cognitive abilities and comparing how students learn from reading and from lectures that are spoken and/or signed.

Linda Spencer, director of the Communication Disorders Program in NMSU’s College of Education explains, “We’re hoping that by looking at the relationship between language and thinking in individuals who are deaf, we will get a better idea of how to teach them. We’re hoping what we learn can be instituted in their curriculum to achieve the highest level possible for these individuals.” The research participants come from all walks of life. According to Spencer, “We want to discover how their background influences how they think. We want to get a better idea of how thinking, memory and language combine.”

Source: New Mexico State University

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