A Review on Higher Education for Hearing-Impaired Individuals

By Nordin, Norazah; Yunus, Melor Md et al. | Asian Social Science, November 1, 2015 | Go to article overview

A Review on Higher Education for Hearing-Impaired Individuals


Nordin, Norazah, Yunus, Melor Md, Zaharudin, Rozniza, Salehi, Hadi, Yasin, Mohd Hanafi Mohd, Embi, Mohamed Amin, Asian Social Science


1. Introduction

The hearing-impaired individuals are those who are not able to perceive sound due to their loss in the sense of hearing. Both receiving and producing spoken language are under the influence of such hearing loss. It is rather common for the hearing-impaired individuals to struggle with spoken and written language. When hearing-impairment occurs in an individual's life, understanding speech acquisitions are poor. Hence, in conversations, miscommunication often arises between the hearing-impaired individuals (Vanderheiden, 1982).

The higher education for the hearing-impaired individuals plays an important role in each nation's education development. Higher education will assist the hearing-impaired individuals to attain the required knowledge and skills for social survival and employment, just like normal-hearing individuals. The hearing-impaired individuals can be defined as the disability for individuals to detect frequencies, or low-amplitude sounds (Vanderheiden, 1982). In 1982, Vanderheiden used another word for this; deaf, where individuals are not able to perceive sound because of their loss in the sense of hearing (Vanderheiden, 1982). For the hearing-impaired individuals, ability of both receiving and producing spoken language is under the influence of the hearing loss. It is rather common for a hearing-impaired individual to struggle with spoken and written language. When a tragedy of hearingimpairment occurs in an individual's life, the understandings of speech acquisitions are poor (Mahshie et al., 1988). Accordingly, the linguistic way of their communication with each other becomes the Sign Language. The learning curve of a new language is definitely not easy. For a normal individual, the language learning is naturally co-operated with the hearing-feedback. However, it is not easy for the hearing-impaired individuals, as they do not have the speech ability. Therefore, the most essential social behavior of a hearing-impaired human being is Sign Language, and it is the most convenient and effectual communication tool.

Communication between the hearing-impaired individuals and the normal-hearing individuals can be very difficult. It is often true that in universities or classes scenarios, the hearing-impaired individuals are often involved in project-oriented groups; thus, miscommunication is normal between them and the normal-hearing individuals (Schull, 2006). Although a number of faculties support students and staff including interpreters who are fluent in both signing and speech, miscommunication still exists; let alone, when the interpreters are rarely available outside a class. Since video is well-suited for a web-based instruction to collaborate, communicate and information disseminate, subtitles and a translation video picture of the spoken text into sign language could be valuable.

2. Hearing-Impaired Children's Communication

Communication between the hearing-impaired individuals and the normal individuals can be difficult. Higher education of the deaf learners offers them opportunities to achieve valuable skills and knowledge for employment and social survival equal to the learners with normal hearing (Vanderheiden, 1982). English is often a second language of people who are born deaf, with their first language being the Sign Language. If for a normal-hearing child to begin develop expressive speech and language between 1-2 years old, and by the time the child starts school, he has mastered a major portion of the syntactical structures of his native language, and has several thousand vocabulary words. However, for a severe hearing-impairment sustained at an early age, the impact starts upon the education achievement of these hearing-impaired individuals. The only exposure to signing is at school, and language the normal-hearing children use the same way, usually does not them. Without this attraction, hearing-impaired children may miss the critical period for language acquisition. …

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