Deaf students are no less likely than their hearing counterparts to obtain good grades and pass courses in higher education. Despite this, under half the number of deaf pupils, compared to hearing pupils, go straight from school to university, and when there, face an array of challenges that hinder their HE experience [Sachs, D. (2011). Inclusion of students with disabilities in higher education: Performance and participation in student’s experiences. Disability Studies Quarterly, 31(2). https://doi.org/10.18061/dsq.v31i2]. The project reported on explored deaf students’ experiences of Further and Higher (FE/HE) education, with the aim of identifying the communication barriers to inclusivity being faced by deaf students. Sixteen interviews (face to face using British Sign Language or written responses over email) with current and former Scottish deaf students were conducted then analysed using thematic analysis, revealing themes of (1) A lack of deaf awareness, (2) The English language, and (3) Access to interpreters, as barriers to inclusive FE/HE for deaf students. The findings demonstrate specific ways in which deaf students are being excluded in and outside the classroom in FE/HE. It is crucial that FE/HE institutions are aware of these, and are prepared to support their deaf students more effectively.
- deaf students