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Editorial POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION FEDERALLY ESTABLISHED REGIONAL PROGRAMS Over the last two decades the federal government has helped develop four regional programs for deaf and hard-of-hearing students. These are the St. Paul Technical Vocational Institute (TVI), California State University at Northridge (CSUN), Delgado Community College, and Seattle Central Community College. Two of these programs have been absolutely outstanding and the other two have been well above average. All have objective follow-up data demonstrating the dividends returned on the educations they provide. In the face of this record of success, including excellent fiscal return on tax dollars invested, it is sad that these four programs now face possible extermination because of withdrawal of federal support. The government seems unable to distinguish between an expense and an investment. The paradox these proposed cutbacks represent is especially pronounced when one considers the huge influx of rubella-deafened youth who will be needing postsecondary education during the next five years. This influx has been fully documented by epidemiological studies and is a clear and indisputable fact. Rehabilitation Centers and Programs Seven rehabilitation programs exist in the U.S. that serve primarily those postsecondary deaf students who cannot or choose not to attend 4year or community colleges. These programs are highly or totally dependent on state rehabilitation funds. As these funds have been cut drastically at a national level, the rehabilitation centers have made gross reductions in the support services necessary for meaningful participation on the part of most deaf clients. The effects of these cutbacks are especially damaging to those deaf youths who are most in need of services. It was these few rehabilitation programs that were trying to meet the needs of the lower third of the deaf population desperate for training. If this third of the deaf population is to survive as economically independent contributing members of society, they must have comprehensive vocational rehabilitation training. Federally Established National Programs Historically, Gallaudet College and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf have been treated generously by the federal government . While they too now face fiscal cutbacks in the face of the increasing needs represented by the "rubella bulge," there are cushions in their budgets which do not exist in the other postsecondary programs. Other Postsecondary Programs There are about 34 other postsecondary programs in the U.S. that have some support services for deaf students. These programs vary tremendously in quality. Most provide training for local clients only. All of these programs depend to some extent on state vocational rehabilitation funds, which in turn depend directly on matching federal money. These federal funds have been drastically cut, crippling the 34 local programs for deaf clients. Overview The network of 48 postsecondary programs with support services for deaf youths and adults is facing near annihilation due to federal fiscal cutbacks. The problem is compounded by federal efforts to take the teeth out of the VR Act of 1973 (and revisions) and P.L. 94-142. This further erodes the financial resources available by eliminating interpreting services and other aspects of equal access. A national plan to meet the postsecondary needs of deaf youth is needed. The current fiscal cutbacks jeopardize all but two of the programs now available. Without adequate postsecondary opportunities, most deaf youth will face unemployment or dead-end routine jobs with low pay and little job satisfaction. McCay Vernon, Ph.D. Editor ANNOUNCEMENT The Annals has changed its subscription policy from a calendar year basis to an annual anniversary basis beginning with the February 1983 issue. February 1983 issues are being sent to unrenewed subscribers to minimize problems as a result of this change of policy. Future subscriptions will terminate 1 or 2 years from receipt of renewal. A.A.O. I February 1983 ...


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