History of Deaf Education: Part 2

Through the 20th century to the current policy for mainstreaming

The second part of a documentary telling the story of 400 years of Deaf education in the UK. Following the 1880 Milan conference, a policy of oralism was adopted, later encouraged by new technology such as audiograms. But a 1970s report showing that Deaf children were leaving school at 16 with a reading age of less than 10, led to more Deaf children being given a mainstream education. The documentary explores how communication in mainstream classes works and whether parents are making an informed choice about how they educate their child. Presented by Louise Harte.

To watch the first part of this documentary, click here.

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  • Having seen the videos about history of deaf education, I felt I wasn't the only one experienced some difficulties in school through my education years in the 70s. I am not blaming my parents for putting me through to mainstream schools with a hearing impiared unit because I think they were mis-informed or being pressurised by a local authority back then. Where I am now, my English is quite reasonable (thanks to my parents who taught me written English every night after school - it was exhausting!) however, the downside with mainstream schools was lack of awareness of deaf needs and communication. There were times we feel isolated away from hearing groups because we didn't have communication support and only rely on amplified hearing aids. Hearing people seemed to think if we were wearing hearing aid we should hear - how naive! Since I left school with small signing skills, I became more involved with deaf community because I feel fit in deaf world and became disconnected away from my hearing friends whom I don't see very often now. I use a lot of signing now which I enjoy. Having seen the videos, it seemed that deaf children are treated like 'guinea pigs' because no-one seems to know what is best for them and always goes back to drawing board 'A' to find the best way for them. I feel hearing people should step away and let deaf people involved in research because all appeared organised by hearing people with no experience of being deaf or involved in deaf culture, etc. They need to be realistic and everyone is different. Rants over!
    Posted on
    160311
  • As a profoundly deaf English teacher, this strikes a chord with me. Communication was absolutely vital in my childhood. My school in Scotland incorporated the total communication method, then I was placed in a mainstream school. It was certainly effective as I had the benefit of sign language and integration into the mainstream community which prepared me more for the real world. It will be interesting to see how education for the deaf develops in the future. I can say for certain that I'll be throwing in my contribution to any debate on this!
    Posted on
    160311
  • Wish everything deaf verd hello
    Posted on
    160311
  • Heartbreakingly informative! Shocking, that deaf children/deaf community, are still fighting for the right, to an effective education, in this 21st Century!!
    Posted on
    150429
  • I wish to develop bsl skills to become part of the community & support general wellbeing of deaf and hard hearing people.
    Posted on
    150429
  • very strong programme.
    Posted on
    150429
  • As a university student, looking into the history of deaf education in the UK, this video was most beneficial. As well as researching for my degree, this also provides much background knowledge into deafness which interests me on a personal level, as my brother is severely deaf and was educated at RSDCM. Very interesting!
    Posted on
    140122
  • I am Deaf and from Deaf School in the 60's - then went onto a Hearing School my education there was a nightmare. Very badly educated. They didn't have any idea how to teach a Deaf child and to be told to sit at the back of the class.

    All teachers should be able to Sign and talk in all lessons which gives equal access to their learning.
    Posted on
    130724
  • I am a hearing person really interested in the Deaf culture and am learning Auslan Sign Language. Because of my interest I have self-published a book The Clamour of Silence.
    A romance between a profoundly Deaf woman and a hearing man. It has been well received I am a public speaker and present my boojk to various groups, selling my book. Part of the proceeds are given to RIDBC (Royal Institure of Deaf and Blind Children.)
    I do this to show people a little of the Deaf culture in Australia
    Posted on
    130724
  • A most frank look at the difficulties of education of Deaf children.
    Posted on
    130724
  • As a hearing person currently learning BSL I watched this program and am horrified at the way deaf people have had decisions made by hearing people!!
    I feel sign should be part of mainstream education for everyone we learn languages why not sign it should not be we should have a barrier when speaking to other British people just because they can't hear and we are ignorant of their method of communication.
    I hope in future improvements will be made based on information provided from deaf people as to what would benefit them most. Not people who can't comprehend what they are going through.
    Posted on
    130213
  • I am Deaf and from Deaf School since 1960.
    I currently working on my project to produce a book entitled 'This is my Deaf life' about 150 pages. The book will have three volumes and will have deaf cartoons with written comments to high my points. I would like to say that Deaf Education in my time at school had been a big failure due to the predominance of oralism. We were educated-ly damaged to say the least!
    I hope to complete and get it published later this year.

    Do you know of any publisher?

    Thanks,
    Ian Funnell
    Posted on
    130213
  • Hello, I am writing to you that Deaf Congress in the Philippines was launched to grow up with Deaf Filipino community and different presenters of our local regions so that those Deaf or HOH or Deafened can witness their stands upon issues or what topics they can speak with oral sppech or use of sign languaging since the start of 2007.

    We will prepare the projecting agenda for Deaf Educations in 2015?
    We are hoping that we can look forward to hearing from your next replyas soon as you can? Thank you sharing our idea about what matters.
    Posted on
    121226
  • Hello from Canada, I understand the issues here as I was mainstreamed growing up. I work now as a CSW in a High School in Canada.
    The program has made me want to learn BSL and come over to work! There is a great need!
    Posted on
    121226
  • I am profoundly deaf. I studied Functional Skills at level 2 maths in a mainstream college. I failed the exams twice. Profoundly deaf people are kinesthetic and visual learners.
    Posted on
    121226
  • Re; the conclusion; "It's time for a new royal commission to look at the future of deaf education.." - is anyone currently working to make this happen?
    Posted on
    120713

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