DEAF STUDENTS ACCESSING HIGHER EDUCATION PROGRAMS – ROMANIAN AND EUROPEAN EXPERIENCES, Luciana FRUMOS, Claudia ROȘU

Abstract

Deaf students in higher education are following courses alongside their hearing peers. When students attend classes, they are expected to listen to the teacher’s lecture and when they are together in small groups it is likely to be asked to communicate or to do some collaborative work that involves discussion. For the deaf student these contexts are difficult as they require understanding of academic contents, communication and social interaction. Providing equality of access for all students to the content of courses and seminars requires appropriate support and awareness on the part of academic staff. The purpose of this study is to analyze, from the point of view of deaf and hard of hearing students, the barriers they encounter in higher education programs, the type of support they receive and to identify further ways to address these challenges. Compared with their European peers, Romanian deaf and hard of hearing students reported more academic and relational difficulties. Resources are not always available so these students must cope with the spoken language and communication challenges. Universities also need to be inclusive and to proactive find the means to provide the best resources for deaf and hard of hearing students.