Campus: CSU Northridge -- October 16, 2002

CSUN Center Awarded $900,000 Federal Grant for Innovative Program to Educate Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing


Cal State Northridge's National Center on Deafness (NCOD) has been awarded more than $930,000 by the federal government for an innovative program that helps educate deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

The center was awarded the three-year student empowerment grant by the U.S. Department of Education earlier this month for "Rights, Roles and Responsibilities of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Students," known as 3R.

3R is a model demonstration project designed to provide professional development and training for faculty and administrators working with deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

Using a combination of program staff and a trained core of students from the "big three" universities that serve deaf and hard-of-hearing students — Cal State Northridge, Gallaudet University and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) — 3R will provide teachers and administrators with innovative teaching methods and strategies for working deaf and hard-of-hearing students.

"3R is an exciting opportunity for CSUN to work with NTID and Gallaudet in order to promote student leadership development among deaf and hard-of-hearing students," said NCOD director Merri Pearson. "Student empowerment and collaboration across the nation has always been foremost in the minds of the leaders of NCOD. Now we have a vehicle to do it."
Students from the "big three" campuses will eventually meet at CSUN to create a body of empowerment materials. The collected information will be used to develop a variety of training activities and materials for staff development.

Participating students will learn leadership skills and be provided information on their roles, rights and responsibilities. They will also learn realistic ways of fostering sensitivity awareness in an educational environment and creative uses of technology and resources so they can train educators.

The students will then co-present the training materials with project staff to faculty, administrators and other students at five test sites.

A Web site also will be established with online interactive training resources, related events, links and an online chat room so student leaders can conduct long-distance collaboration.
Project materials include 20 training modules, a CD-ROM, a best practices manual, e-mail technical assistance, conference presentations and training packages for postsecondary students.

"The NCOD will be able to expand its efforts in student leadership and empowerment through collaborating with the other two nationally-known universities that provide educational opportunities to deaf and hard-of-hearing people," Pearson said.

The National Center on Deafness has placed California State University, Northridge at the forefront internationally in the provision of services to people who are deaf and have other disabilities. Specifically, NCOD has been honored for service to the campus and community, as well as for its specialized projects and materials used across the nation.

The National Center on Deafness' nationally recognized support system of note takers, tutors and interpreters allows CSUN's approximately 250 deaf and hard-of-hearing students to take a full part in university life.

CSUN's population of deaf and hard-of-hearing students is one of the largest at any mainstream university in the United States. The university was among the first to offer services to mainstream these students, beginning 40 years ago.

Contact: Carmen Ramos Chandler, (818) 677-213, carmen.chandler@csun.edu


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