University of Edinburgh

Special Education & Disability Act and SI Education

Presented on Tuesday, 12 March 2002

Workshop: Implications for deaf students in F/HE - some case studies

Think about these situations from three points of view:

  • the student
  • the college
  • the staff at the college

1) A profoundly deaf student applies for a place to do an HNC course at her local FE college. She makes sure she lets the college know that British Sign Language is her first/preferred language and so will need BSL/Enlish interpretation for lectures, etc.

The college writes to say that appropriate access arrangements have been made.

The student arrives for her first day to find that the person who has been employed (full time) to interpret for her has only Stage 1 BSL skills.

2) College B refuses to accept a deaf student on an SVQ Level 2 'Maintaining Automotive Vehicles' because they say that the student would not be able to hear the sounds of the engine. They say this is important for diagnosis of faults.

3) A deaf student at College C is studying for an HNC in Administration Managements. He arranges to go on a placement to a local company. He and his tutor give a Deaf Awareness session to company staff before he starts the placement. But on the placement he is not allowed contact with the public and is given very simple and basic jobs which are below the level of the HNC course.

4) A deaf student is half-way through the third year of a Community Education degree. For the first time she is told that the standard of English in her assignments is too low and that she will have to improve her English to an acceptable standard before the degree can be awarded. Her lecturers have all been on a Deaf Awareness Training Course.