Deaf Schools vs. Hearing Schools

February 24, 2008

I am currently in the hearing school. There are pros and cons about going mainstreaming. One of the pros is the fact that I get good education. One of the cons is the fact it is hard for me to understand hearing people sometimes. I am thinking about going back to a deaf school–Indiana School for the Deaf. But that does not change the fact that I was born hearing, English is my first language, and I live in the hearing world and I choose to accept that.

There are also pros and CONS (I capitalized and underlined cons because I know you’d overlook “cons” on purpose) about deaf schools. One of the pros is the easier method of communication. One of the cons is that sometimes education is a bit too easy. So, aren’t schools about education? If so, why do you emphasize that every thing Deaf is perfect? The generality of you deaf people that went to a hearing school say that hearing people oppressed you. Now I go to a hearing school and I don’t think hearing people oppress me.

The reason why I want to go back to a deaf school is not because hearing people oppress me, but because I miss having easy communication methods.


  1. hey u should check out my vlog about, my experience in deaf school and public school, http://chillygurlz.wordpress.com/2008/02/23/differences-between-deaf-schools-and-public-schools/

  2. chillygurlz, I can’t say I like either types of school better. But I can say I agree with you about the fact that it is easier to look at the signing teachers than it is to look at the interpreter and/or the teacher.

  3. Not every deaf person felt oppressed in the hearing schools. I didn’t. I agree with you about the academic quality in hearing schools being higher, based on my experiences, to. The communication access is better in the deaf school, too.

    I wish you good luck


  5. Hey! Don’t worry about this issue. Accept the real world. Just stay in hearing school, it’s great opportunity for your future career. Deaf schools are very limited! There is a plenty of time for you to enjoy and communication – go with deaf friends, co-workers, others after you got a high quality of education. Look at gally students! They go to social work jobs, educational area, data encoders and blue collar jobs! Majority sucks! Deaf schools got an influence from Gally – too extremely DEAF CULT and too busy against hearing world. They are narrow-minded people. Better that you get out of this influence or it hurts your future career. πŸ˜‰ thumbs up!

  6. Mishkazena,

    I agree, not every deaf person felt oppressed. But there is still a generality of deaf people that feel that hearing people continue oppressing them verbally, but the way I see it, deaf people might not understand the hearing people.

  7. Dan,

    The problem is that ISD is the only deaf school in the state and I like the ease of communication. Plus, I only went to ISD for half of a year. So that makes it a little hard for me to socialize with deaf people that are not related to my family, because my entire family is deaf.

    Another problem is I am not crazy about academics, no matter how good I am at the academics.

  8. Uhhh… David, school is important, so you do need to get good grades and at the same time, enjoy learning. I understand that you don’t like missing out the small tidbits in the classrooms, especially in the hearing school, so I have no problem with you wanting to go back to ISD. Just balance school life with social life equally and you’d be fine. Too much school can burn one out and too much social life can land one in a lot of trouble ;o).


  9. Hello David! Awesome blog you’re running. It’s real nice for me as mom to my deaf children who are at public school & deaf school. Now my oldest son just trasnfered to the Deaf school. He was at the public school for 4 yrs (from age 5 to 9) with DHH teacher, classroom teacher and interpreters. At that age, he wanted to have more deaf friends (he had only one in his class – they both are ASL, deaf families, etc…His first reaction to the deaf school was; no interpreters!! And, he was a bit upset when he got home after witnessing a classmate being so sassy to the teacher. He said that he never saw this behavior at public school ~ I told him that it may be because he doesn’t hear. But he insisited that his interpreter interprets everything! Now, it’s his first full week at deaf school. I’m positive that he’ll do well there. In the future, I want to have him doing some courses in public school and other courses at deaf school. Public school has so much to offer .. I don’t want my kids to miss those opportunities. Thanks for doing this blog!

  10. In facts, socialization and learning ASL, deaf culture blah blah.. it’s verrrry EASY to learn and pick up! while english writing communication is HARDEST to learn. 95% of deaf students / graduates including Gally. can’t write well in english. How embarass!!! compared to High school hearing students can write it well. See!! It makes hearing world to think that we, deaf have comfort zone in education. It means LOW-class education. Look at Deaf schools, students never take equal rate or serious NSAT exam before going to the university like Harvard, USC, UCLA, others.. Top universities. Except very low class Gally! low standard. That is why hearing people continue thinking that way – deaf people looks like handicapped ones or even monkeys! Got it??? better to maintain your education first! and then enjoy other things – sports, anything. Sorry this world is cruel! very competition. Face the reality. πŸ˜‰

  11. Good blog, David.

    Like Mommy says, it is important to get a good education. Just because you are smart and learning comes easy for you does not mean you can breeze through ISD, I still hope you will work hard. You have your whole life to be with friends and socialize and can’t be in school all your life, so it is important to get a good education when you have the perfect opportunity to reap from it.

    Keep up the thought provoking blogs coming, they are getting better after each blog!


  12. Hello David!

    Educating and socializing are the most important part of your life. Just focus what you are in right now. Just study hard.

    Don’t let your friends to tell you about the “easy and lazy” teachers along with the unchallenged courses. Just take some challenged courses along with the reasonable teachers. Staying out of the trouble as well as writings/readings are the best answer.

    Working hard and going to a college like we did in the past are the best answer. Be successful and do what you want to be in the future.

    Don’t work as the manager or janitor at the fast-food restaurant.

    You have your life ahead of you.

  13. Hi David,

    That’s a powerful blog you wrote and you shine light on some age-old issues that for the most part we have yet to solve.

    I can totally relate to what you said (I faced the same dilemma when I was a kid) and appreciate your blogging about it. This is an issue a lot of people will tiptoe around and you had the guts to bring it up — more power to you!

    I’d like to ask a question:

    In the Deaf community, there’s this perception that the “Big Three” is the Indiana School for the Deaf, the Maryland School for the Deaf, and the California School for the Deaf. I don’t know how much statistics and test scores validate this, but in general those three schools are highly regarded in the Deaf community. Which leads us to the $100,000 question: how do they compare to mainstream schools?

    You said something about wanting “to go back to a deaf school”… by “going back” do you mean back to ISD? If so, you may have something that many of us don’t have: a frame of reference. I would love to know what you think.

    Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences with us, and, whatever you do, I wish you the very best! I have a feeling you’ll be successful no matter where you go πŸ™‚

    Best regards,

  14. Thank you for sharing this issue. Maybe, deaf kids with high I.Q. – can take a challenge against hearing students – should go to hearing schools – then go to world class university (NOT gally univ) while deaf kids those who failed several attempts to get high standard, may go to deaf schools, then community college or vocational courses. I believe that Deaf people with multi-talents can be better than hearing standard. They don’t have to worry about interpreters. They can even transfer to anywhere, Africa or Third world, to survive and graduate there. It means they are really smart and marketable! very competitive.

  15. This is Karen… David’s mom. To answer Mark’s question, ISD did not fare well in the state tests in the last few years, due to the fact that 52% of ISD’s students had additional disabilities. However, the regular classrooms passed the state tests but the teachers could have done more, and even the superintendent said that. Well, the test tests are skewed, not taking in all factors such as 52% having multi-disabilities.

    My husband and I will always support David in his journey as a person.

  16. David will answer to some of the comments when he has time… he is just 11 years old and he has a progressive hearing loss (he has been losing on the average of 10 dB since he was 2 years old… he was diagnosed having mild hearing to moderate hearing loss at the age of 3, so we have no idea at what age he started losing hearing.) So it is in some ways hard for him, since he LOVES music. I am sure Mark understands this better, since he himself has gone through this and his son is going through this now.

  17. Drolz,

    They cannot compare academically to hearing schools but socially they are excellent.

    I have a frame of reference that flatters me because I only went to ISD for half of a year. I am going back to ISD, not for academic reason, but because of social reason.

  18. White Ghost,

    Trust me, I am not going to end up as a manager or a janitor at any fast food restaurants πŸ™‚

    I know education and socialization are the most important parts of my life.

    I will go to a good college! (I have to or my mom will kill me!;) )

  19. If you want good college. then, take a challenge against hearing students. Don’t worry about socialization – it’s VERY EASY to pick up! even ASL as a language is EASY. Look at ASL students, any foreign students can pick it up later. What important thing to do for A+ deaf students is to study hard and how to communicate in writings! reading! self-analysis! independent – not depending on interpreters all the time. Just read and write, be able to compete with A+ hearing students. Honestly. Many deaf “cults” believe in sports and deaf jobs “blue collars or deaf-area jobs like UPS, data encoders, janitors, teacher assistant” VERY LIMITED options. Deaf cults believe Gallaudet University is their only one HOPE. But they are WRONG! end of their graduates, see what they work for?? the deaf job cage! they can’t select good college, or jobs in the future. Harvard, USC, UCLA or giant corporations will ask what is Gally??? what kind of degree? while interviewing a job. How embarass! and World is changing, modernized.. it means threat to them! They need to adjust and join the competition or go back – low class standard.

  20. David and Karen,

    I greatly appreciate your responses. As you’re already aware of, my son (age 9) is in the same situation and he’s starting to complain about his mainstream school. Academically he’s holding his own, and socially we’re trying to balance it by going to deaf events. Still, we’re keeping other options in mind and ISD is one of them.

    What frustrates me the most is that this is something that goes beyond deaf schools. During baseball season I’ve seen other deaf/hoh kids playing for various neighborhood teams. I dont know who they are or where they go to school (btw – I’m thinking of checking with the league commissioner to see if we can set up an All-ASL team!).

    What I *do* know is all these kids are similar to my son and they’re scattered all over at different mainstream schools. If all of them could go to school together, that would solve a LOT of problems. I plan to address this somehow… more TBA.

    Anyway, pardon my political rant. David, I appreciate what you’re doing with this blog because believe me, parents (including me) are reading your comments and learning from them. Good luck with all your endeavors — and don’t ever give up! I’m very confident you’ll experience much success all the way through high school and beyond. πŸ™‚

    Best regards,

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