College is not easy. Lectures, extracurricular activities, and social events can be especially difficult for those who are hard of hearing. It is reported that each year about 20,000 deaf or hard of hearing students go on to post-secondary education institutions (bestcolleges.com).
High school and college are very different when it comes to experiences and goals. High school is more individualized when compared to college. High schools are more prone to accommodate when necessary. In most school systems, it is required that the school makes everything accessible to each student for an equal opportunity to learn. Now, this amount accessibility ranges from what disability or accommodations are needed, the geographical location, and the amount of money the school and/or the school district has. When talking solely about the deaf and hard of hearing accommodations, colleges work about the same way, however, certain colleges are known to better resources. Universities with specialized accommodations and hearing programs include:
- Gallaudet University: is a one-of-a-kind school because it is precisely dedicated to those who are hard of hearing of deaf. Gallaudet University “offers the world’s only BA, MA, and PhD program in interpretation within an ASL-immersive setting”.
- Howard College: is devoted to students who are deaf and hard of hearing. They offer classes in American Sign Language and encourage students to participate in sports and clubs.
- Rochester Institute of Technology: located in Rochester, New York, this school is a model for providing accommodations for the deaf and hard of hearing. It is estimated that 1,300 of the 14,000 student population at RIT are deaf of hard of hearing.
- The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee: also has major accommodations. Students at this school have the opportunity to meet with a counselor who helps them throughout their time at the school. It is reported that 1,000 or the 24,000 students are deaf or hard of hearing.
- California State University, Northridge: this school is different than the other because it provides a “transitional year” for the students who are deaf or hard of hearing. In this year, students learn how to adjust to the college life. The program also prepares students for life after college.
Although not every school is known to be the best for accommodating students who are deaf or hard of hearing, many colleges are willing to help. All you have to do is schedule a meeting with Disability Services at that school to see if it is a fit for you!