In a survey recently administered by our ThinkQuest team, we asked high school students "Do you think it's better for a deaf students to mainstream with other students or attend a separate, specialized school?." Out of a total of 58 students (42% male and 58% female), the majority (60%) thought that deaf students should attend a specialized school while the remaining 40% thought that mainstreaming would be better.
After months of research and interviews on our topic: "Mainstreaming Vs. Exclusion", our group feels that the decision is up to the hearing impaired individual and his/her family. Exclusion, as described, is when a student attends a school which specializes in specific handicap disabilities such as deafness. Hearing impaired students who are separated in a different school may learn more with a sign language interpretor.
Mainstreaming on the other hand, allows the hearing impaired student to learn how to communicate with the hearing so later on in life this would not be such a difficult task to take on. It would also benefit the hearing because they will learn more about the deaf culture.
Although both Mainstreaming and Exclusion have their advantages, the choice belongs to the hearing impaired student about deciding which environment will be most beneficial. Parents should do their part by:
These tips will be helpful in making a decision as to where their child will receive the best possible education.