The changing of the guards at Gallaudet University along with a new master plan for the next 10 to 15 years in the effort to keep the university afloat and be competitive but doing so will bound to upset some culturally deaf people. But Gallaudet University is trying to keep two steps ahead and stay competitive in the effort to make their university an attractive university for anyone with a hearing loss. Gallaudet University faces a real possibility of dwindling Federal dollars since the university get most of the money from the Federal government to help keep it running. Not cheap I tell ya.
Now, I understand that there are some concerns over Gallaudet University's direction and people should communicate their concerns in the most appropriate way but to point out how poor Swiller signs or put more focus on him as an oral/aural person is really nothing but done in poor taste. What's next? Demand that Swiller resign? Hurtwitz, too? Just because you noticed he's Jewish?
Josh Swiller may have contributed to the idea to help bring war vets who suffered hearing loss from combat related injuries to Gallaudet University with a new program in mind but I don't think Josh as a visiting faculty member for the past two years has that much pull or influence to change Gallaudet University completely. Gallaudet University has been changing ever since the first student with a cochlear implant came on board some 20 years ago. It wasn't Josh Swiller's idea of change nor was he the one started the change. Change has always been there.
Secondly, we must respect the new International Congress on the Education of the Deaf (ICED) resolution on the global call to "accept and respect all languages and all forms of communication."
All forms of communication. Did you get that?
That's real diversity right there.
And there were a lot of people excited about the new ICED resolution last year in July. But I get the feeling that some people are starting to feel a lot less enthusiastic because people were calling for the acceptance and respect of all forms of communication.
And then we have that Section 504 that Gallaudet University and all other universities who receive Federal monies MUST abide by.
Section 504 is a federal law designed to protect the rights of individuals with disabilities in programs and activities that receive Federal financial assistance from the U.S. Department of Education (ED). Section 504 provides: "No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States . . . shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance . . "Those qualified individuals include war vets who have every right to attend Gallaudet University. They have as much right as the next deaf or hard of hearing student attending the university. Those vets cannot be denied enrollment because of their disability or the fact they were once hearing. They are late deafened adults who need our help. But as you can see Gallaudet University has certainly stepped up to the plate and that's commendable worthy of our praise and not our scorn and contempt.
Gallaudet University is committed to America's veterans and has a long history of serving them at our institution. Gallaudet is authorized to accept all GI Bill payments including the additional contributions by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) through their Yellow Ribbon Program. The Yellow Ribbon GI Education Enhancement Program (Yellow Ribbon Program) is a provision of the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008. According to the VA, it is available to veterans who have sustained "a service connected disability." In addition to accepting veterans being supported through the general GI Bill, under the Yellow Ribbon Agreement, Gallaudet will support up to 25 eligible veterans during an academic year for any major for an amount up to $3,050.00 (full time status) in tuition expenses. Gallaudet is listed on the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Approved Education Programs website as an institution participating in the Yellow Ribbon Program.Note the bold words. Up to 25 eligible veterans at Gallaudet University during an academic year. So, if it takes 4 years to graduate then that means after a few years or so you could expect to see up to 100 veterans (for example, 25 vets who are freshman, 25 vets who are sophomores, 25 vets who are juniors, and 25 vets who are seniors) on campus. With a campus enrollment of 1373 degree seeking students (as of 2010) with 1,106 deaf/hh students and 265 hearing students which make the number of hearing students making up less than 20% of the total degree seeking student population at Gallaudet University. Adding in the vets would only add up a few extra percentages of the total. Nothing to worry about. Move along folks. Move along.
One request from me to the students, staff and faculty members at Gallaudet University.
If you do see a vet who is a student at Gallaudet University, please give him or her your thanks for helping to protect our country.
Here is one way of saying "Thank you" from your heart.
It'd be great if you can do that and say a simple "Thank you" when you see a vet on the campus of Gallaudet University. And be sure to try and take the time to make friends with him or her as well. It'd be mighty stupid of you to make that vet your enemy just because you feel he or she's invading "your" campus. Now is not the time to get selfish.