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Chapter 24 Deaf-Blind Computer Training Program at Ohlone Community College Philip W. Bravin Rebecca B. Smith A graduate of Gallaudet College with a B.S. in Business Administration in 1966, PHILIP BRAVIN has been in industry since graduation, with the exception of this year when he is currently on loan to the Deaf-Blind Training Program at Ohlone College from IBM Corporation under the IBM Faculty Loan Program. Mr. Bravin functions as a Job Placement Specialist in the Ohlone Deaf-Blind Program in addition to teaching deaf-blind students courses in data processing. He has been with IBM since 1968 and has been primarily with the data processing end of the business as a programmer, system analyst, and system designer. His last assignment with IBM before going on loan was as a Project Manager at a customer account in New York City. He has attended Union College (Schenectady) and the University of Hartford, taking graduate-level courses. Mr. Bravin is also a graduate of the IBM System Research Institute . Active in the deaf community, Mr. Bravin serves as Secretary-Treasurer of the Empire State New York Association of the Deaf and sits on the Board of Fellows at Gallaudet College. REBECCA SMITH received her B.S. in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College, Boston , in 1974. A serious automobile accident caused injury to her voice while she was in college, and she decided to focus her career towards working with others who experience difficulty speaking and communicating vocally; she decided to work with people who are deaf. From 1974 to 1975, Ms. Smith went to Western Maryland College to get her Masters of Education in the Education of the Deaf while working as a Teacher's Aide at the Maryland School for the Deaf during the day. After graduate school, she worked at the American School for the Deaf teaching junior and senior high school mathematics for 2 years. Ms.-Smith left the American School in 1977 to begin work at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, as the Project Coordinator of The New England Training Center on Social Services for the Deaf, a Title XX funded program. In 1980, she moved to San Francisco and started working with the Job Placement Specialist at the Ohlone College Deaf-Blind Program . A.A.D. !September 1981 731 Computer Training Program INTRODUCTION In 1979, through a combination of federal, state, local, and private funding, a unique and highly innovative project was begun at Ohlone Community College, Fremont, California. This project had as its objective the training and placement of deaf-blind persons in the expanding field of data processing. Since its beginning 2 years ago, the Ohlone program has developed into the nation's leading higher education opportunity for deaf-blind people. Specialized equipment and specially trained staff have given deaf-blind students the opportunity of competing with nonhandicapped students , with reassuringly good results. BACKGROUND Over the past 150 years in the education of the deaf, there has been a growing inclusion of the deaf-blind student. However healthy this inclusion may seem to be, there continued for some time to be an extremely smaU number of deaf-blind students completing school and finding gainful employment afterwards until recent years. Of the 20,000 deaf-blind people in this country, approximately one-third of them are adults; of that number, only 4% are employed. Within the group of those employed, most work in sheltered workshops which serve primarily the severely handicapped populations. Although some have otherwise been qualified by virtue of education and training, they could not competitively work in nonsheltered employment. As of this writing, approximately 50 deafblind students are enrolled in colleges, universities , and community colleges all over the country. It is possible that this number is an understatement, since there is no formal system of identifying deaf-blind students at the postsecondary level in the United States. If a person has Usher's Syndrome, for example, he or she may not necessarily be considered deaf-blind due to the fact that his/her vision has not yet progressed to the point of legal blindness. However, of those who have graduated from . coUege, most return to the "system" from which...


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