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To the Editor Many state departments of education are discriminating against the residential school for the deaf because they leave it at the bottom of the educational option hierarchy instead of encouraging and emphasizing it as one of the important educational options on a continuum. Unquestionably, the residential school for the deaf remains and will be a viable educational option for parents of deaf and hearing-impaired children. Today state departments of education do not have appropriate personnel and professional expertise ; however, they still have the power to influence parents. Misinformation on educational options is dangerous to those parents who need proper assistance, and subsequently, to deaf and hearing-impaired children who are unable to defend their educational rights. The residential school for the deaf is one of the top priorities of the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). Please feel free to contact Interim Executive Director Gary Olsen or me for further information and legislative strategies. Furthermore, the NAD is willing and ready to assist organizations in achieving the legislative objectives of protecting and improving the residential school for the deaf. Larry Forestal President, NAD Vivienne Ratner's article "Spatial-Relationship Deficits in Deaf Children: The Effect on Communication and Classroom Performance" {American Annals of the Deaf, 130, pp. 250-254) provides an excellent overview of potential social , language, and academic problems that may result from visual-perceptual deficits in deaf children . Ratner stresses that even if careful visual screening is conducted, some visual deficits may not be detected. We have the same concern at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), where we conduct annual visual screening on all entering students and ophthalmological exams for students who do not pass this screening. To date we have been unable to identify an assessment technique for screening visual -perceptual deficits. I would like to request, therefore, from Annals readers: (a) information on screening visual-perceptual problems among deaf persons, and (b) information on diagnostic/ in-depth testing of visual-perceptual problems among deaf persons. I am most interested in current screening and/or diagnostic instruments used by Annals readers for assessing visual-perceptual deficits among their deaf students/clients . Ratner ends her article with the following: Visual-perceptual deficits are only some of the learning disabilities that have been diagnosed in deaf children. For this reason , it is recommended that techniques to remediate learning disabilities be incorporated into the curriculum when training teachers of the deaf. (p. 254) I concur. Unless appropriate assessment instruments (both screening and diagnostic) are identified and used, however, it is likely that we will continue not to detect visual-perceptual deficits among our deaf students/clients. Frank Caccamise NTID/R1T Reviews History of the College for the Deaf, 1857-1907, Edward Miner Gallaudet, (Lance J. Fischer and David L. de Lorenzo, Eds.), 265 pp., hardcover, Gallaudet College Press, Gallaudet College, Kendall Green, Washington, DC 20002, 1983. History of the College for the Deaf, 1857-1907 was written 78 years ago by the founder of Gallaudet College, Edward Miner Gallaudet. The manuscript , now published for the first time, is a fascinating 50-year account of the establishment and early development of that unique educational institution . The book is not only a history, but also an autobiography. Thus, the account contributes to the reader's understanding of the college as a highly personal realization of E.M. Gallaudet's youthful ambition to further the cause of higher education for deaf people. Of particular interest is the description of the early understanding and cooperative relationship between the 20-year-old Gallaudet and his benefactor, the 68-year-old Washington philanthropist, Amos Kendall. The account also depicts the Congressional opposition to the founding of the college along with young Gallaudet's counter-moves for winning support to overcome that opposition. In reading this book one will quickly perceive A.A.DJOctober 1985 259 Reviews the dedication which motivated the author to the educational cause of deaf people. While all Gallaudetians will certainly wish to read this early account of their alma mater, anyone with an interest in any phase or level of education of the deaf will find this book informative and a genuine source of inspiration. Edward...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1543-0375
Print ISSN
0002-726X
Pages
pp. 259-260
Launched on MUSE
2013-04-22
Open Access
No
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