K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

About this video

Daniel Lunk
Date created
October 2010
Flash Video
This video copyright ©2010. Terms of use

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In the classroom

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The success of a deaf student in an inclusive classroom is dependent upon the contributions of a number of people, including the classroom teacher, the student, the teacher of the deaf, the student’s family members, school administrators, and the interpreter. In this video, expert interviews and classroom footage address the elements of a successful collaborative partnership among these individuals.

This video is one in a seven-part series about educating deaf students in the inclusive classroom. The other videos include:

The videos are associated with the article “Deaf Learners and Successful Cognitive Achievement.”


Martha Overman (00:09)
For deaf students to be successful — especially with deaf children — it does take a collaboration of a lot of people involved; the regular ed teacher, the deaf ed teacher, the interpreter, the parents. The parents do, I think, play a key role. The more involved the parents are, I think it really helps with the child’s success. Especially if you have a child that’s signing, and if the family is not able to communicate with that child, does not learn to sign along with the child, then it makes it very difficult for them at home. The child goes home and has no language and communication, and so I think they fall behind, or they also start off, they get to school, and they’ve not had any language, they start off several years behind in the beginning, and then you don’t have anybody to help with homework, or just to see that support at home. So I do think that that can play a key role that child’s success in an inclusive setting.
Kathy Metzer (1:13)
The family environment, the family background, greatly impacts the success of a student to be able to be in that inclusion environment. A child who has a lot of early intervention, a child whose family embraces the fact that they’re deaf, or they have additional disabilities, even, and does what they need to do, as difficult as it probably is. I don’t have a child with a disability, but I can only imagine how difficult that would be. But that they go ahead and do it. That to me is the child who comes with all that, and is — the inclusion environment, they’re more successful. The child who hasn’t had that, it’s kind of like, “I’m going to try out for the baseball team, but I’ve never, ever played baseball.” The areas we see that the child needs extra practice or extra help, then we come up with different activities for the student, and the interpreter would tutor the student in those areas. And they are in the regular classroom more than I am, and they do a lot of documenting on what they do, and then that enables me to be able to read that documentation and know what’s going on, and different things they missed, and “okay, well, let’s do more practice with this.” So that has helped a lot. And that’s something we started a few years ago. You know, having the interpreters document what they do in the classroom and how the student does. We try to help the regular ed teachers see: What are all the different things you’re going to do during your day, and what would be the best place for the child? For the interpreter? I try to go in and do observations just to see that everything is working and to see if the teacher has any questions about anything. So it’s that huge collaborative effort with all of us. Again, its, “Okay, we’re going to show this video because lots of technology is being used today.” Then, is it closed captioned? And here’s a resource if it isn’t for you to be able to get it closed captioned. And if a child isn’t able to read at that level, then, can we get it early, so that the interpreter can see it beforehand?
Mary V. Compton, Ph.D. (04:08)
I think it’s important that regular classroom teachers and teachers of deaf and hard-of-hearing children reach out to each other and form collaborative partnerships. Because we all really want the same thing. We really want the success of the deaf student. And perhaps sometimes this collaboration is going to be inconvenient, because many times the regular classroom teachers have — we’ve got plans, and with all the stresses on regular classroom teachers, it may be difficult to change one’s schedule to accommodate when the itinerant teacher of the deaf can come to meet with you. But I think that’s very important because that’s going to be a huge factor to a deaf student’s success, is this collaboration of interpreters, regular classroom teachers, teachers of deaf and hard-of-hearing students, families, school administrators. That would be very important in ensuring a deaf student’s success.