Up to the early 70s, deaf and mute children had to suffer from the lack of government efforts to extend to the deaf and mute community adequate opportunity to get the same level of education that the hearing is receiving…
Up to the early 70s, deaf and mute children had to suffer from the lack of government efforts to extend to the deaf and mute community adequate opportunity to get the same level of education that the hearing is receiving.That meant more than one million children could not attend regular school and were forced to attend special schools that were not sanctioned by the government. That meant school fees went way above what they can afford, curriculum did not match what is required by government, and there was no way on how policies may be questioned. Since many of these families weren’t earning enough to send children to a special private school, they were left with no choice but to keep their children at home with no education. By mid the 70s, the congress finally became aware of this unfulfilled need. A series of laws were passed that were to provide the deaf and mute equal opportunity as the hearing. Different laws were enacted that covered the right that the deaf and mute should have been enjoying in the first place. The following policies were set in place (Lane, 1996): • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and Public Law 94-142 (the 1975 Education for All Handicapped Children Act) require that every deaf and mute child be given the same opportunity as the hearing to attend regular public schools with all their needs being met
• The Public Law 94-142 was amended in 1986 by Public Law 99-457 to provide greater detail on ensuring that deaf and mute children enjoy the same privileges and opportunities as the hearing Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was put in place in 1990 to encompass all the laws and policies that pertain to upholding of the rights of the deaf and mute Despite these efforts, there remain a lot of disparities between what the law is promising and what is actually being provided by public schools. In 1992, the Department of Education started a nationwide review on how public schools are meeting the requirement of the law when it comes to the deaf and mute and hard of hearing. Part of the objective of the review was also to identify the root of the problem on why many deaf and mute and hard of hearing still end up uneducated despite the law’s assurance that they are to be accommodated by public schools (Karchmer, 2003). The Department of Education learned that the biggest problem of the deaf and mute children that prevents them from getting the same opportunities as the hearing children is communication. Many of the public schools already accommodate deaf and mute children but are not providing these children with the same communication tools that are appropriate for their needs. The deaf and mute communication needs are highly specialised and, when unfulfilled, could be isolating. Worse, the absence of communication tool for the deaf and mute are making them perform poorly in school. It is affecting their ability to learn and develop their skills side by side other children. The deaf and mute and hard of hearing are also finding it difficult to develop relationships with their hearing classmate (Karchmer, 2003). More than one study has already testified that the transmission of knowledge outside of the classroom is critical in the growth of child and in the development of a child’s skills and abilities (Armstrong, 1994; Crossley, 2000; Curry; 1983; Mills 1959). When there is not enough socialization and interaction outside of the school, confidence and self-esteem also don’t develop enough to give them the willingness to pursue careers that the hearing is able to pursue (Marjoribanks, 200). The Department of Education also discovered that many public schools are not interpreting that laws correctly that are leading to many deaf and mute children being rejected by many public schools. Public schools are imposing the same requirement from the deaf and mute ...
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