By caroline | August 8, 2008
Support is available for deaf students in third-level education, but as an IDK forum member has written, supports at his local college were insufficient.
We’ll call him “J” in this piece. He’s 24 and has a progressive, acquired hearing loss of 49% in his left ear and 69% in his right ear.
After learning of an 18-month wait for ENT assessments on the HSE, he obtained an inner-canal digital hearing-aid and started a PLC course.
However, he dropped out of this course half-way through as his aid got damaged and he was unable to follow what his college lecturers said.
Next time round, he had a note-taker who was not qualified in IT, J’s subject.
J’s aids were incompatible with FM microphone systems and this made learning very difficult in a lab for software engineering & development.
Ultimately, J left the course as he could not complete the mandatory foreign-language and communications modules, even with a note-taker.
He’s now a self-taught web developer after studying from home. His story on the forum shows how student needs must be met in third-level education and how colleges must be flexible where subjects require some exemptions.