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Turning the Tide

Making Life Better for Deaf and Hard of Hearing School Children

Gina A. Oliva, Linda Lytel

Publication Year: 2014

Both Gina A. Oliva and Linda R. Lytle each know what it is like to be the only deaf student in a mainstream school. Though they became successful educators, they recognize the need to research the same isolation experienced by other deaf and hard of hearing persons. In this way, they hope to improve education for current and future deaf students. Their efforts have culminated in Turning the Tide: Making Life Better for Deaf and Hard of Hearing School Children. Turning the Tide presents a qualitative study of deaf and hard of hearing students who attended mainstream schools. The authors conducted three focus groups in different regions in the country, enlisting six to eight participants with diverse backgrounds for each session. They also gathered information from 113 online respondents who answered the same questions used in the focus groups. The respondents discussed many issues, including the difficulties of finding friends and social access, the struggle to establish an identity, the challenges of K‒12 interpreting and class placement, and the vast potential of summer and weekend programs for deaf students. Their empowering stories clearly demonstrate that no deaf or hard of hearing student should be educated alone. The authors elicited comments on other changes that parents, advocates, and other allies could work toward to improve further the educational environment of deaf children.

Published by: Gallaudet University Press


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p. C-C

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

Turning the Tide is a timely and much needed addition to the field of educating deaf and hard of hearing children. Personal narratives told by deaf and hard of hearing adults offer us powerful insights into the experiences of childhood, and...

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pp. xiii-xviii

The work of this book has been a labor of love. Both of us spent our entire K–12 years in general education classrooms in our respective neighborhood public schools, Linda in Pennsylvania and Gina in Connecticut. Throughout our lives and...

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pp. xix-xx

We wish to thank the Gallaudet University Research Institute for three Priority Grants and two Small Grants awarded to us between 2000 and 2012, without which neither Alone in the Mainstream nor Turning the Tide would have come to fruition...

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pp. 1-10

It has been almost four decades since the original passage of P.L. 94-142, known as the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Two huge differences between then and now concerning the education of deaf and hard of hearing students...

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1: Our Research Process

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pp. 11-23

Storytelling is a powerful tool, and it is a particularly Deaf-friendly one. Many Deaf people have made storytelling a fine art and most, regardless of age, enjoy telling a good story—particularly stories about themselves. We feel these life...

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2: Friendships and Social Access:Outside Looking In

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pp. 24-44

Think back to your school years. What comes first to mind? Is it the marvelous teacher you had in freshman lit or the thrill of learning trigonometry? We very much doubt it. More likely, your positive memories are about friendships you...

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3: The Struggle to Shape an Identity

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pp. 45-66

Identity encompasses many aspects. One of its defining characteristics is that it includes both our past and present experiences, and the meanings we place on those experiences, as well as the future possibilities we see for ourselves. For example...

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4: K–12 Interpreters and Other Placement Issues

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pp. 67-90

With the implementation of the Education for all Handicapped Children law (P.L. 94-142) in 1975, a new position was created: that of educational interpreter. Students with disabilities— including deaf and hard of hearing students—...

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5: A System in Need of Reform

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pp. 91-119

In the last three chapters, we have shared the comments and perceptions of 134 individuals between the ages of 18 and 34 who participated in focus groups and/or wrote essays for our online survey. Our participants reported numerous detrimental...

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6: K–12 Interpreters and Mediated Education: More and Better Is Not Enough

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pp. 120-145

To start our discussion on interpreting in the general education setting, we must begin by asking some basic questions about how deaf children learn. Given the linguistic deprivation deaf and hard of hearing children often experience...

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7: Summer and Weekend Programs:If You Build It, They Will Come

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pp. 146-175

In the preceding chapters, we have shared stories, facts, and ideas we have gleaned from focus groups, an online survey, conversations with various professionals (interpreters, interpreter trainers, teachers, consultants, government officials)...

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8: Scholars, Parents, Advocates,and Allies: Working for Change

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pp. 176-195

All the members of our focus groups were passionate in their wishes to share their stories so that current and future deaf and hard of hearing children will have significantly better K–12 experiences. More than half of them are pursuing degrees...

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9: Turning the Tide:Making Life Better

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pp. 196-210

It is so clear to us what needs to be done. We are not saying it will be easy, but we think it is clear. In this final chapter we offer broad recommendations for systemic change and specific recommendations for changes for families and schools that...


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pp. 211-218


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pp. 219-230

E-ISBN-13: 9781563686009
E-ISBN-10: 1563686007
Print-ISBN-13: 9781563685996
Print-ISBN-10: 156368599X

Page Count: 232
Illustrations: 1 illustration
Publication Year: 2014