Do More Good | Gallaudet University
Deborah Ryan | Ludmilla Simon
“Legacy for me is what we build as a community, what we visualize as a community. The responsibility to build Gallaudet to stay strong for another 150 years belongs to all if us, not just one person.”- Dr. Roberta J. Cordano, Gallaudet University’s First Female Deaf President. 2016
Gallaudet University is a place where the deaf and hard-of-hearing community sees boundless possibilities for the future. Approximately 1.7 million young adults in the U.S. are deaf, and in the 25-34 age range, only 17 percent of deaf adults have a bachelor’s degree compared with 35 percent of hearing adults. This affects their ability to get higher paying jobs because educational attainment and future employment are closely tied. In the past two years, about 15 percent of students accepted to Gallaudet did not attend college at all due to financial constraints. Financial barriers are significant with more students coming from families of four with an annual income of less than $50,000.
For more than 150 years, Gallaudet’s faculty of global educators and researchers have provided visual learning to deaf and hard-of-hearing students and served as the premier advocates for their rights. Established by an Act of Congress signed by President Abraham Lincoln, today Gallaudet is the only university in the world that offers a bilingual (American Sign Language and English) learning community for its students, which allows it to graduate leaders and changemakers. At Gallaudet, higher education degrees are earned in two languages – there is NO OTHER PLACE like this in the world.
Gallaudet’s history is rich with trailblazing accomplishments that have impacted individuals, businesses, and societies worldwide. This includes discoveries from their Brain and Language Laboratory for Neuroimaging (BL2) and the Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) that have transformed science’s understanding of how the brain acquires language. Gallaudet’s faculty, staff, and alumni have contributed to other discoveries including inventing and patenting technologies that create real-time access for texting in smartphones and creating captioning for movies and television, a feature frequently used today by deaf and hearing people alike. Research and technology happening at Gallaudet University impacts the entire world!
At Gallaudet, students achieve their academic and professional goals with the same ease that hearing students do in spoken English learning environments. There are few, if any, barriers to direct and indirect learning through social interactions, activities, and even classroom student-student engagement. To date, over 26,000 alumni have benefitted from the Gallaudet experience, which begins with a profound sense of belonging that creates room for exponential self-discovery, growth, learning, and exploration that prepares them well for the challenges in the working world and our global community.
As the global leader of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, Gallaudet is continuously reinventing what it offers to students to build their skills and readiness for the opportunities they seek in their lives. Despite all the achievements, our community continues to face many challenges, especially regarding access to education and work. History has shown the extraordinary ways Gallaudet alumni have changed the world because of the education they received from Gallaudet. This is how Gallaudet is doing more good.