Attending university is a unique life experience most people dream of going through since they were young. While there are many types of higher education, 4-year universities, technical schools, online schools, there is one school that stands out in terms of quality and service; Gallaudet University. Established in 1864 and named after one of the founders of the school, Gallaudet University is the leading private university specifically designed for deaf and hard of hearing people and is located in Washington D.C. Gallaudet has much to offer such as programs in liberal education and career development, athletics, and an enjoyable campus life.
Gallaudet University will build upon its rich history as the world’s premier higher education institution serving deaf and hard of hearing people to become the university of first choice for the most qualified, diverse group of deaf and hard of hearing students in the world, as well as hearing students pursuing careers related to deaf and hard of hearing people. Gallaudet will empower its graduates with the knowledge and practical skills vital to achieving personal and professional success in the changing local and global communities in which they live and work. Gallaudet will also strive to become the leading international resource for research, innovation and outreach related to deaf and hard of hearing people. (Vision Statement of Gallaudet University; Gallaudet.edu)
Gallaudet is achieving their vision statement by creating a barrier-free, bilingual learning environment in emphasis on American Sign Language. It also has the potential to grow, develop, and improve the lives and knowledge of all deaf and hard of hearing people worldwide with research.
Gallaudet University has approximately 21,436 alumni around the world and offers over 40 majors in areas arts/media, business, human services, humanities, language/culture, and science/math/technology. They also have an Honors Program and graduate schools for students who are seeking to complete the highest education in the university. The school has many resources to help the students reach their academic goal. Many of these resources can be found at Gallaudet Research Institute and contains artifacts and historical information about deaf culture. Another resourceful area is the library. The Gallaudet University Library Guide to Deaf Biographies includes brief biographical information about 4,000 notable deaf and hard-of-hearing people as well as a few hearing people who have been important to the deaf community. The most impressive part of the library is its world’s largest collection of deaf materials, including Laurent Clerc’s cane. Gallaudet has excellent tutoring services. TIP (Tutorial & Instructional Programs) provides free tutoring, language advice and instructional support services for all students and provides an open and safe learning environment for students who are looking for tutorial assistance.
Like traditional university, Gallaudet also has athletics. With their mascot being a bison, they have both men’s and women’s sports and includes football, baseball, softball, basketball, and more. In the football department, the team has been on a winning streak lately and some of the players have the potential in making it to the NFL. One player in particular is Adham Talaat who plays defensive end and helped bring his team in the running for the school’s first men’s NCAA Division Three championship. He may be the first deaf person to make it to the NFL in the future. (cbsnews.com) The athletic department “ensures, in all areas of intercollegiate athletics, that Gallaudet University demands and functions with integrity, high moral and ethical standards, and strict adherence to the spirit and letter of all Gallaudet University.” (Mission statement, gallaudetathletics.com)
For the students wanting to stay on campus, Gallaudet has 7 housing residence halls. They have housing from the single student to the married student with children. The school also allows service animals to live with them. Because the school is located in Washington D.C., there is so much to see and do around the school and students have a direct connection to the country’s famous and important monuments. I’ve learned that deaf person are really social and it does not surprise me that they have an event for almost every holiday. They even have a Christmas ball most of the students attend. The school also shows free in-theaters movies weekly and is one of the most attended activity on campus. Gallaudet also offers great and fresh food to the students. They are the first food service to support local agriculture and serve their food, to serve seafood that meets the country’s guidelines, using cage-free eggs, and serving only humanly raised ground beef. This just shows the university takes care of their students and their health.
Gallaudet is the first choice of higher education of deaf people and it’s no wonder why. Gallaudet is a welcoming, supporting, and resourceful both with the students and faculty. So many people consider the deaf and hard-of-hearing “disabled” and think that they would never lead a normal life. What it really means is the deaf have their own world they live in and it’s simply another culture. Gallaudet helps prove the country wrong with their excellence in academics, sports, and much more. Gallaudet has everything a regular university has and does not cut the experience for their students. They ensure the “intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English.” (Gallaudet.edu) This university is a very important part of deaf cultures and communities world-wide and helps make successful and thriving people of the world.