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The Problems of Professional Education for Deaf and Hearing-Impaired Students

On May 29, 2020 a junior research fellow at the laboratory Nikita Bolshakov made a report on the topic ‘The Problems of Professional Education for Deaf and Hearing-Impaired Students’ during the joint online seminar of the IL SIR and The Research group on disability anthropology of the Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology of RAS.

On the one hand, changes in the training systems available to deaf and hearing-impaired workers in recent years have opened up new opportunities. On the other hand, these changes require serious revisions to the main approaches in working with this group, which cause various problems common for any major transition. The main problem that students themselves mention is a narrow corridor of opportunities when choosing one’s specialization. This narrowing occurs, in some cases, artificially due to universities’ desire to unite all deaf students into one classroom. In other cases, universities are simply unwilling to work with the deaf. In addition, informants have to obtain an individual program of rehabilitation or habilitation, which determines individual restrictions on admission to work. They also mentioned the low quality of school education, problems of certification in correctional educational institutions, the lack of sign language interpreters and low level of training of teachers, and so on. 

The presented study is based on the All-Russian survey of deaf and hearing-impaired students in colleges and professional schools. The study involved face-to-face interviews as well as 21 semi-formalized in-depth interviews with students and experts.

The discussion was attended by researchers and specialists from different regions of the country, as well as from Germany, Switzerland and Belarus.