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Research can be twisted to show what people want it to show, but it can never change the real life experiences of an individual who has already been a number.
NORTH WALES, PA, February 04, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Deaf programs resulting in mainstream classroom environments are not all they're cracked up to be, at least not for the Deaf student. Educational pleas of the Deaf community are often falling on deaf ears of public school educators and policy makers, creating a learning gridlock for Deaf students and their hearing teachers. In his third book Madness in the Mainstream (MITM), Deaf author, school counselor and student advocate, Mark Drolsbaugh, questions the "Least Restrictive Environment" which calls for Deaf and hard of hearing students to be placed in a mainstream classroom, in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
MITM explores the invisible and harmful long term educational, social and emotional effects that often go unnoticed and unaddressed for years among Deaf and hard of hearing students as a result of IDEA. "Real life experience beats professional opinion and educational policy every time. Research can be twisted to show what people want it to show, but it can never change the real life experiences of an individual who has already been a number. School districts can thump their chests and insist they know a Least Restrictive Environment when they see one, but more often than not, money and politics overrule common sense," says Drolsbaugh.
Advocates of Deaf learning mediums like Drolsbaugh's Alma Mater, Gallaudet University, encourage the Deaf community to use their "voice" in raising awareness for an accessible, Deaf-friendly learning atmosphere for Deaf and hard of hearing students, which offers a groundswell of applicable learning while cultivating social benefits for a healthy classroom experience. Extending a call to action for policy changes, Drolsbaugh also encourages parents to allow their Deaf and hard of hearing children, to be part of the decision making process for their education, stating, "When you're understood, you understand better yourself. That's when the fun begins and life gets good."
Interviews with Drolsbaugh can be found on ASL Radio Video, ASL Radio (via interpreter) and on MITM YouTube. For media inquiries contact Carrie Hill.
About the Author:
Drolsbaugh has written articles that have been published in The Philadelphia Daily News, Kaleidoscope, Parents for Deaf Awareness, and The Tactile Mind. He wrote and published his first book, Deaf Again, in 1997 (a fourth edition was published in 2008). Deaf Again is currently required reading in numerous ASL/Deaf Studies classes throughout the United States and is also an underground hit in England, Australia, and Germany. Drolsbaugh lives in Pennsylvania with his wife Melanie and their three children. For more information please visit Handwave Publications.
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