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Editorial The Winds of Change In recent months I have had the good fortune to work with deaf and hearing colleagues from several countries across the world and have benefited from their experiences and insights. In many ways education of the deaf is quite different in each of the countries I learned about. In some, no formal secondary school opportunities are available to deaf students, although there may be a few deaf students, usually from affluent families, who navigate their way through a regular high school with the aid of an individual tutor. Others have a small but expanding core of deaf professionals with graduate-level training. Some countries offer no residential school education for deaf children, whereas others offer only residential school education. Despite these great differences, however, common themes and questions recur. Educators everywhere are addressing some basic questions. The first one is, "Should we use oral communication or manual communication or both in the classroom?" This is followed quickly by, "If we use manual communication, how do we get parents to use it effectively in the home?" Just as frequently comes the question, "If we use manual communication, should it be American Sign Language (or Japanese Sign Language, or Argentinean Sign Language, or Dutch Sign Language, etc.) or Signed English (or Japanese or Spanish or Dutch, etc.), or should we use both?" School placement issues are treated with equal importance . Regardless of the present situation in any particular country, educators are uncertain if they are doing the right thing for deaf children and are discussing alternatives. The biggest concern seems to be resolution of what appears to be equally strong but conflicting trends: the increasing acceptance of deafness as a unique and very special cultural condition in the face of an expanding special education movement characterized in different countries variously as integration, mainstreaming, normalization, and total inclusion. A lesser, but growing, worry is related to the perception that in each country the gap may be widening between a relatively small group of highly educated and skilled deaf professionals and a larger number of individuals without marketable skills in societies with increasingly technical demands in the work place. The traditional blue collar jobs held by so many deaf workers in the past are disappearing. Although there is reason for satisfaction with the growing number of deaf psychologists, accountants, school superintendents , and business entrepreneurs, we cannot lose sight of the fact that in most parts of the world, work forces are being upgraded and down-sized. Rising unemployment is a real and present danger. We are obligated to educate all children to their ultimate potential, not just a chosen few. A Dutch colleague noted, "The winds of change are blowing ." We must realize that some of the winds will be approaching gale-size intensity very soon and will be creating cross-currents. It is our responsibility to ride out the storms and keep our eyes on the real goal, the effective education of all deaf children. Donald F. Moores Editor Erratum: In the reference list for the article "Demographic and Audiological Profiles of Deaf Children in Texas With Cochlear Implants," by Thomas E. Allen, Brenda W. Rawlings, and Elizabeth Remington (AAD, Vol. 138, No. 3, p. 266), the journal titles were missing. A corrected version of the list appears below. Allen, T. E. (1992). Subgroup differences in educational placement of deaf students. American Annals of the Deaf ,137 (5), 381-388. Hellman, S., Chute, P., Kretschmer, R., Nevins, M., Parisier, 5., & Thurston, L. (1991). The development of a children's implant profile. American Annals oftheDeaf, 136(2), 7781. Moog, J., & Geers, A. (1991). Educational management of children with cochlear implants. American Annals of the Deaf, 136(2), 69-76. Northern, J. (1986). Selection of children for cochlear implantation . Seminars in Hearing 4 (4), 341-347. Staller, S., Beiter, A., Brimacombe, J., Mecklenburg, D., & Arndt, P. (1991). Pediatric performance with the Nucleus 22 channel cochlear implant system. American Journal of Otology 12 (Supplement), 126-135. Volume 138, No. 4 ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0375
Print ISSN
0002-726X
Pages
p. 315
Launched on MUSE
2012-07-11
Open Access
No
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