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Letter to the Editor Response to Olkin and Shafton-Bias on Using TTYs to Contact Clinical Psychology Graduate Programs The article, "Using a TTY to Contact Clinical Psychology Graduate Programs " (October, 1997) pointed out significant issues in access to graduate education for deaf students, and made some valuable suggestions. For many of the reasons cited in the article , Gallaudet University has established a clinical psychology doctoral program which is ΑΡΑ-accredited (although it was too new to be included at the time the Olkin and Shafton-Bias study was done). Our program in the Department of Psychology is devoted to training deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students in clinical psychology at the doctoral level. Olkin and Shafton-Bias point out the lack of TTY access in graduate programs. The existence of relay services in every state gives deaf students a way to circumvent this problem, although the results are far from perfect, as the article explains. In addition, the increasing availability of FAX machines, E-Mail, and the World Wide Web offers deaf applicants alternative ways to communicate with graduate programs. In our experience, several related problems deserve attention as well. (1) When Deaf applicants apply to a doctoral program in predominantly hearing universities, they frequently must do more advocacy for themselves than hearing students in order to get fair consideration. (2) Deaf students (like students with many other disabilities) may face discrimination in being considered for field experiences and internships. (3) University faculty at many institutions, and training faculty at clinical sites, often are wary of using interpreters because of unfamiliarity with issues such as costs, client acceptance of interpreters , and how to work effectively with interpreters in clinical settings. (4) In most states, Vocational Rehabilitation funds cannot be used to support doctoral level education, even though the doctorate is the entry-level degree for clinical psychology employment. (5) Telecommunications equipment and assistive devices are not usually free. Programs wishing to have TTYs, decoders , etc., must find funds to purchase them. (6) While TTYs themselves are easy to use, they are not necessarily compatible with other equipment commonly used in universities , such as voice mail services. While our program increases opportunities for talented deaf students to get advanced graduate training, inequities still exist in the field in general . The American Psychological Association Committee on Disability Issues in Psychology has addressed some of these problems in the brochure "The Americans with Disabilities Act and How it Affects Psychologists." Additional and ongoing means of informing and educating the professional community are essential. Olkin and Shafton-Bias provide a good start toward achieving this. Additional information can be found in articles by Leigh, Corbett, Gutman, and Morere (1996) and Pollard (1996). Virginia Gutman, Ph.D. Professor Director, Clinical Psychology Doctoral Program Gallaudet University VAGUTMAN@GALLUA.GALLAUDET.EDU 202-651-5540 (V/TTY) 202-651-5747 (Fax) Irene W. Leigh, Ph.D. Professor Department of Psychology Gallaudet University References Leigh, I., Corbett, C, Gutman, V., & Morere, D. (1996). Providing psychological services to deaf individuals: A response to new perceptions of diversity. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 27, 364-371. Olkin, R. & Shafton-Bias, E. (1997). Using a TTY to contact clinical graduate programs. American Annals of the Deaf, 142, 312-315. Pollard, R. (1996). Professional psychology and deaf people: The emergence of a discipline. American Psychologist, 51, 389-396. Volume 142, No. 5, 1997 American Annals of the Deaf ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0375
Print ISSN
0002-726X
Pages
p. 349
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-11
Open Access
No
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