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

Summary

In 1992-93, an estimated 20,040 students who identified themselves to the institution as deaf or hard of hearing were enrolled in 2-year and 4- year postsecondary education institutions. Institutions reported 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. Deaf and hard of hearing students were fairly widely distributed across institutions, with 47 percent of the nation's 5,000 2-year and 4-year postsecondary education institutions (about 2,350 institutions) enrolling one or more such students in at least 1 of the last 4 academic years (1989-90 through 1992-93).

Institutions reported providing special support services designed for deaf and hard of hearing students to 16,100 deaf and hard of hearing students in 1992-93. About a third of the nation's 5,000 2-year and 4-year postsecondary education institutions (about 1,850 institutions, or three-quarters of the 2,350 institutions that enrolled deaf and hard of hearing students) provided support services designed for deaf and hard of hearing students to such students in the last 4 academic years. Classroom notetakers were a frequently provided support service, as were sign language interpreters and tutors to assist with ongoing coursework. Institutions were generally able to provide the support services requested of them, with only 18 percent of the institutions that had enrolled any deaf or hard of hearing. Students indicating that they had been unable to provide some requested support service to deaf or hard of hearing students, either at all or at the level requested.

The primary point of contact on campus for the provision of support services to deaf and hard of hearing students was frequently a person or office on campus that provides services to students with disabilities when the need arises (44 percent), or a person or office on campus that is responsible (on an ongoing basis) for services to students with disabilities, in addition to other duties (41 percent). Only 3 percent of institutions had an office or coordinator devoted entirely to services for deaf and hard of hearing students. Institutions were interested in information about what kinds of technologies or devices are available for postsecondary institutions to use in providing services to deaf and hard of hearing students, and about applicable federal legislation. Institutions were most likely to use a newsletter and least likely to use an electronic bulletin board to obtain information about providing services to deaf and hard of hearing students.