Integrating hearing impaired students

The status of hearing impaired students at
Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań
9 -10 February 2012 Cosmo Caixa, Barcelona, Spain
The deaf children in basic level of education:
are directed most often to special schools or education and upbringing
institutions with dormitories;
b) Polish is only one of courses in their curriculum, and is not used in every day
Test the children undergo at these schools and institutions are designed to
realize specific issues included in the curriculum, or only concentrate on some
parts of the language system.
What makes starting studies at AMU difficult to deaf students?
• A sign language interpreter is not routinely available at AMU. Students can
apply to have such an interpreter, financed by the state fund for disabled
persons (PFRON), but – due to a lack of finance – such interpreters are
rarely provided;
• Students cannot participate actively in classes due to a lack of loudspeaker
facilities in the classrooms;
• It is accepted if tests written in class are incorect (spelling, grammar), but
respected if they occur in homework.
• No classes of practical learning of Polish are provided in the curriculum.
What I did to change this situation?
Thanks to the support of the authorities of my institute two useful courses have been
organised: for students of the Faculty of Polish Philology and similar one for the
scientific and administrative staff of the University;
I started co-operating with the Association of Disabled Students “Ad Astra” operating
at AMU;
In 2009 I organized a scientific and integration camp entitled“Between Silence and
Silence”. The curriculum of the camp included Polish Sign Language courses
(Beginner and Advanced levels), pantomime workshops, and theoretical lectures on
the Polish Sign Language and discussions on the status of hearing impaired persons in
Poland – facts and myths. The Wielkopolska Chapter of the Polish Deaf People
Association became the honorary patron of the camp.
What else have I achieved?
Pantomime workshops
• Visual and spacial, workshops and the movement components
which need to be included in the process of communicating with
hearing impaired people,
• These workshops are designed to help both hearing persons (to
learn body language), as well as the hearing impaired ones, who
tend to be more impulsive and over-react, which can cause
continuous through stress attempting to adopt to the world of the
hearing person. This is why substitute ways of communication are so
important – they allow communication barriers to be overcome.
• Elements of pantomime allow the hearing persons to become
familiarized with the way hearing impaired people communicate,
and facilitate perception.
The practical classes of Polish language for hearing impaired students
Since October 2010 these students have been offered Polish language classes, using a
curriculum, which I developed, with the focus on practical issues. Thanks to the
support of the Vice-Rector for Scientific Matters, classes take place twice a week, and
last 90 minutes.
Our aims are:
• Development of practical skills of using Polish in speaking and writing;
• Enrichment of information on Polish language structure and its sub-systems;
• Development of language consciousness;
• Development of specific language skills, e. g. reading comprehension and writing;
• Development of knowledge on issues of the correct use of language.
How do we measure success?
It is too early to provide statistical proof of success, but the students’
grades are improving and
they are more enthusiastic and participate in university’s life more than
What’s more applications to join my courses are increasing.
Thank you for your attention!
Karolina Ruta, Ph.D.
Adam Mickiewicz University
Poznań, POLAND
e-mail: [email protected]

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