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Paper details

The language situation of Deaf and hard-of-hearing students in higher education

Dr. Arnfinn M Vonen
University of Oslo, Department of Special Needs Education


This keynote lecture will begin with a brief general description of the situation of Deaf and hard-of-hearing people with respect to language access and language proficiency, including both spoken languages and sign languages, and both local/national languages and foreign languages. Then, some of the particular challenges for students in higher education who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing, and ways of meeting these challenges, will be addressed. The discussion will include such diverse activities as sign language interpreting, interpreting into spoken language with sign support, speech-to-text reporting, sound amplification systems, acoustic facilitation, note-taking services, and computer resources. Also, the lecture will address the issue of whether/how curricula, teaching methods and examinations should be modified for the benefit of Deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Special attention will be paid to issues concerning the use of sign languages in academic discourse.

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