Providing Learning Support for d/Deaf Students Undertaking Fieldwork and Related Activities

Could Good Fieldwork for Deaf Students Mean Good Fieldwork for All?

In the social model of disability the issues turn around equal opportunities for disabled students. But what of the 'equal opportunities' of the other students in the group? Non-disabled students might argue that changes made to accommodate the needs of a d/Deaf or hearing-impaired student might adversely affect their own learning opportunities. However, there are strong arguments that would suggest that following principles of good fieldwork for d/Deaf students will bring tangible benefits to all students:

Principles of good teaching from the general literature on learning and teaching in higher education support this idea that good learning for d/Deaf students is to a large extent a sub-set of good learning for all. Take Ramsden's 'important properties of good teaching' (1992, p.89):

Accommodating the differing needs of all students is an obligation on all teachers. Teaching and learning can be enriched for all concerned when this is done creatively and in partnership with students. d/Deaf and hearing-impaired students are one group amongst many with distinctive needs, but they are not the only such group. Any group of fieldwork students will include people with a range of abilities and disabilities and with particular needs. The best teaching of fieldwork will seek to find out and work with those needs.

Page updated 14 December 2001

GDN pages maintained by Phil Gravestock