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Bill Says Deaf School Wouldn’t Run New Deaf Education Center

A bill in a Senate committee would establish a new center for deaf and hard of hearing education. But some are pushing back against the idea.

Statehouse

Photo: Dan Goldblatt (WFIU News)

Educators say the bill could funnel cash to special interests, not to hard of hearing students who need enhanced education.

Outreach services to parents and families of deaf and hard of hearing children are handled by the Indiana School for the Deaf, or ISD.  The legislation would transfer those duties — and the funds that go with them — to a new center for deaf and hard of hearing education.

The bill’s sponsors say they want to establish a place without a bias between two significant groups within the deaf community – those who support oral learning using cochlear implants and those who support American Sign Language, or ASL, education.  Christopher Mann is the father of a deaf child who has cochlear implants.  He says ASL supporters have not been welcoming since he and his wife opted to give their child the implants.

“Since that time, we have been referred to by some in the ASL community as child abusers,” Mann says.

Mann says the Indiana School for the Deaf does not give equal representation to oral education and ASL learning.  But ISD senior Margaret Katter says the new center will hurt, not help, students, adding she questions the motives behind the bill.

“This is about redirecting the taxpayers’ money from experts at the deaf and hard of hearing education at outreach and ISD to private contracts, likely those who helped craft this bill,” she says.

The bill is up for a vote in a Senate committee this week.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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  • Pingback: Day 51: Indiana bill says deaf school wouldn’t run new deaf education center | an ism a day

  • Anonymous

    While this article better than other articles on this subject, writers/reporters are still avoiding writing about the *real* scandal about this situation: the fact that the bill was written by two ISD board members: Adam Horst and Cindy Noe, with testimony from Scott Rigney, another ISD board member.

    The fact that a board member of ISD would write such a bill and push for its passage is truly shocking and appalling and needs to be emphasized (and brought out in the light of the day for all to see).  

  • robert mason

    How true!!!   We need to expose Rep. Noe’s connection to St. Joseph School for the Deaf in her own district which she doesn’t really care about quality of education of the deaf and just want to steer $$$ to St. Joseph School for the Deaf (lost $600,000 this year due to declining attendance).

  • robert mason

    Indiana residents ought to fight for the community good versus private interests! Noe’s HR 1367 bill just serve the interests of selfish industry from St. Joseph School for the Deaf to AVT industry to exploit the deaf children without offering the excellent quality of education for deaf children. We should not let the unworkable ideology (oralism) defeat the real purpose of education for deaf kids. St.Jospeh School for the Deaf, an oral school used the selective admission process while the Indiana School for the Deaf welcome all kinds of deaf kids from all economic and social backgrounds.

  • Eaglesoars13

    Start by contacting your SENATORS if you OPPOSE THIS BILL

  • http://indianapublicmedia.org Indiana Public Media

    We would like to get a hold of that report as well if you have it.

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