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Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students in Postsecondary Education
NCES 94394
March 1994

Highlights

The Survey on Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students in Postsecondary Education was requested by the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services of the U.S. Department of Education. This survey was intended to obtain information about the range of postsecondary institutions in which deaf and hard of hearing students enroll, the number of deaf and had of hearing students enrolled at these institutions, and the support services provided to these students by the postsecondary institutions. Information about deaf and hard of hearing students was limited to those who had identified themselves to the institution as deaf or hard of hearing, since these were the only students about whom the institutions could report. The information presented does not include Gallaudet University and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, since the intent of the survey was to obtain information about deaf and hard of hearing students enrolled at institutions other than these two federally funded national programs for persons who are deaf. Data were collected from 2-year and 4-year postsecondary education institutions in spring 1993, and were weighted to provide national estimates.

  • About half (47 percent) of the nation's 5,000 2-year and 4-year postsecondary education institutions enrolled one or more students who identified themselves to the institution as deaf or hard of hearing in the last 4 academic years (1989-90 through 1992-93; Table 1). This represents about 2,350 institutions. Public institutions were much more likely than private institutions to enroll such students (79 versus 29 percent).
  • There was some fluctuation from year to year in which institutions enrolled deaf and hard of hearing students. Of the 2,350 institutions that enrolled any such students in the last 4 academic years, 13 percent did not enroll any deaf or hard of hearing students in academic year 1992-93 (Figure 2).
  • Of the estimated 20,040 students that institutions could identify as deaf or hard of hearing enrolled in academic year 1992-93, there were 4,520 deaf students, 7,770 hard of hearing students, and 7,750 students in the combined deaf or hard of hearing (i.e., the institution did not distinguish between deaf and hard of hearing) category (Table 2). The 20,040 students represent an increase of approximately 3,000 students since academic year 1989-90.
  • About a third (37 percent) of the 5,000 2-year and 4-year postsecondary education institutions provided special support services designed for deaf and hard of hearing students to such students in academic years 1989-90 through 1992-93 (Table 6). This represents about 1,850 institutions. About three-quarters (79 percent) of the institutions that enrolled any deaf or hard of hearing students in 1989-90 through 1992-93 reported providing support services to deaf or hard of hearing students during those years.
  • In academic year 1992-93, some 16,100 deaf and hard of hearing students were provided with special support services by 2-year and 4-year postsecondary education institutions (Table 7). Institutions reported providing services to 4,120 deaf students, 5,270 hard of hearing students, and 6,720 students whom the institutions did not distinguish as deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Classroom notetakers were provided to deaf and hard of hearing students by 75 percent of the institutions that provided any support services to deaf and hard of hearing students in the last 4 academic years (Figure 4). About two-thirds of these institutions provided sign language interpreted (67 percent) and tutors to assist with ongoing coursework (65 percent). Assistive listening devices were provided by 33 percent of the institutions that had provided any support services. Oral interpreters were provided by 20 percent of the institutions. About a quarter (29 percent) of the institutions that had provided any support services indicated that they provided some other type of support service. Other services frequently mentioned were testing accommodations, counseling or advising, assistance with registration, classroom seating arrangements, tape recording of class sessions, and advocacy or consultation with instructors.
  • During academic year 1992-93, 2-year and 4-year postsecondary education institutions provided 8,700 deaf and hard of hearing students with classroom notetakers, 8,100 with sign language interpreters, 5,320 with tutors to assist with ongoing coursework, 1,070 with assistive listening devices, and 970 with oral interpreters (Table 10). Institutions reported providing other support services of some kind to 3,700 deaf and hard of hearing students in 1992-93.

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