Galludet University: Clerc’s Center National Deaf Education Center

Gallaudet University’s Lauret Clerc National Deaf Education Center is a wonderful resource for teachers who teach deaf and hearing-impaired students. This center shares information with professionals and parents on ways to help their deaf or hearing-impaired student reach their full potential by improving the quality of education for children who are deaf from birth up to the age of 21.

The Clerc Center of Gallaudet University consists of Kendall Demonstration Elementary School and Model Secondary School for the Deaf. These schools work hard to offer students with hearing disabilities the best opportunities by focusing their evaluation and development activities on three priorities; literacy, family involvement, and transition to post secondary education and employment. The Clerc Center also is comprised of Exemplary Programs and Research, Training and Professional Development, Publications and Information Dissemination, Information and Computer Support.

The Clerc Center website offers valuable information for the deaf and hearing-impaired in sections: assistive devices and hearing aids, careers and employment, communication and sign language, education, especially for children and teachers, especially for parents, for people about deaf and hard of hearing, Galludet University, health and mental health, legal focus, and publications of special interests.

The assistive devices section of this website can be very beneficial for a teacher who is helping a student find the right hearing and assistive devices that best fits their needs. The website offers information about telephone aids, telecommunication devices for deaf people (TTY’s), using a phone in public places, amplification devices for telephone use, television and film access (telecaption adapters, captioned/film and video programs, alerting devices, listening devices and systems, communication access system for large groups, audio loop system, AM and FM systems, infrared systems, personal listening devices, and information on helping people find the right devices for their personal needs. This information can be found under the Alerting and Communicating Devices for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People section. Information on hearing aids and sources of assistance can be found in the Hearing Aids and Other Assistive Devices: Where to Get Assistance section.

Especially for children and their teachers is a great section of the Clerc Center website. This section offers children and teachers publications, handouts, and resources to help children who are hearing-impaired or deaf. Teachers can obtain books for their students that help them to deal with their disorder as well as allow them to achieve and reach their goals. There are also books available for parents as well in order to help their child succeed even if they are deaf or hearing impaired. This would be a great section for a teacher to visit in order to suggest publications for parents who have concerns about their deaf or hearing-impaired child.

The Clerc Center offers featured links on their website that could be very helpful for students who would like to participate in summer programs. This would be excellent for a teacher to visit this section so that they can suggest some fun summer programs offered by Galluadet University. Featured links currently on the site includes: Family Learning Vacation, Kendall Summer Sports Camp, 2006 Summer Institute Information, and Clerc Center Honors Program Summer Camp.

Under the National Mission Priorities and Projects section of the Clerc Center website I found a very interesting approach to help teachers assess their students as well as students increase their achievement in school. This section is called Portfolios for Student Growth (PSG). PSG is a dynamic, student-focused, three-part process that allows a student to develop a portfolio at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf.

PSG encompasses three phases to the completion of the portfolio including: The Professional Process (which are discussions among professionals leading to a common understanding of portfolios and the portfolio process.) The Student Process (which is a student-led short and long term planning, management, and completion of their portfolio requirements), and The Student Product (a tangible collection of evidence.)

The PSG is a very powerful tool for teachers to analyze, assess and promote their student’s academic growth and achievement. The PSG offers the opportunity for the teacher and student to observe and document a large range of student behaviors, skills, and learning over an elongated period of time. PSG also allows students, teachers, and families the opportunity to analyze the student’s capabilities, strengths, and help to develop compensatory strategies where the student holds weaknesses, as well as plan for their future.

Teachers can begin to implement PSG into their own classrooms and the Clerc Center website offers great information on just how to do it. Available at the current time on the website is a Portfolio for Student Growth: A Teacher/Staff Guide: “Everything You Need to Know.” This guide is a wonderful resource for teachers who are considering implementing PSG into their classrooms.

The Clerc Center also offers information for teachers on products and training opportunities as well as information on news, sports, and events. Integrating technology and educational software review are also important sections that teachers may consider visiting in order to help their deaf or hearing-impaired student achieve.

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