A perspective on deaf education: Dr. Joseph Valente's "Hearing the Unheard"

By Jillian Winn
Monday, May 7, 2012

Our recent blog article on Education Options for Children that are Deaf or Hard of Hearing covered the various educational options available. We did not specify any one option as being "the best" option because every child, family, and situation is different and education is a very personal decision. However, one of our suggestions was to connect with deaf adults who can provide advice based on their own education experience.

We found a TEDx video by Dr. Joseph Valente that talks about his education experience. With the slogan "Ideas worth spreading," TED is an event where speakers share their thoughts on a variety of topics.  Dr. Valente's talk was at a TEDx event locally run by Penn State University.
Dr. Valente is deaf and touches on his experience being mainstreamed.  He discusses how deaf and hard of hearing students aren't disabled and shouldn't be in special education; they are bilingual and need a bilingual education. He feels deaf schools are great for students because they use both spoken language and signed language.  He also talks about not meeting other deaf or hard of hearing students as a child and feeling alone.  He believes deaf schools are great in socializing students and exposing them to Deaf culture. 
Watch Dr. Joseph Valente's TEDxPSU video "Hearing the Unheard" to hear his story and perspective on deaf education:

NOTE ON CAPTIONS: We wish this video was available with a view of the interpreter, but at least full captions are available.  If you aren't seeing the captions, scroll onto the video, click the "CC" and then select to turn the captions on. 


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