Raising and Educating a Deaf Child

International experts answer your questions about the choices, controversies, and decisions faced by the parents and educators of deaf and hard-of-hearing children.

Question from D.B., Florida

I am a hearing person working on my Master in Art Education and wondering if there is a strong correlation between the visual arts and education for Deaf children? I had a couple Deaf students in my photography class last year and they felt that prior to my school (private) they did not feel encouraged to enter the visual arts. They also told me that they had experience in drama and music but not the visual arts. When I asked them how they felt about this, and the courses in the visual arts they had taken they responded favorably to the visual arts as a means of communication. Is there a lack of support or programs available to the Deaf community?

Question from D.B., Florida. Posted November 2, 2011.
Response from Kenneth F. Hoffmann - NTID

Deaf persons readily prepare for, enter into, and thrive in a broad spectrum of visual arts careers. For example, almost all of the entering freshmen students at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and Rochester Institute of Technology have had high school courses in graphic design, print and web publishing, and photography. Here at NTID we have almost 150 associate degree students. We also support approximately 100 baccalaureate degree students in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences in the various design, publishing, photo, film/video, and fine arts programs. Deafness is not a barrier in this field which rewards creativity and productivity in a fast-paced, client-focused environment. For more information, check out our NTID Arts & Imaging Studies departmental website at http://www.ntid.rit.edu/ais.