The Deaf Literacy Program at Red River Community College, a survey

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Gibson, John A.
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The purpose of this thesis was to conduct a study of the needs of students of the Deaf Literacy Program (DLP) at Red River Community College, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Three research questions have been identified. (1) What do Deaf students enrolled in this program perceive their needs are in a literacy program? (2) Is the Deaf Literacy Program at Red River Community College congruent with students stated needs? (3) How is current information technology being used in the delivery of the DLP? The total population enrolled in the program at any given time is approximately thirty and five Deaf adults. The participants of the study were seven current students, all of whom were over 18 years. Students at the DLP are Deaf adults who want to improve their abilities to read and write English. American Sign Language (ASL) is the first language of all DLP students, and the DLP is an ESL (English Second Language) program which emphasizes literacy development. The researcher conducted interviews with the participants. These interviews were videotaped and later transcribed and translated from ASL into English. The findings were as follows. In terms of needs, the students very clearly articulated that their goal was to improve their written English skills, with emphasis on grammar and syntax, so as to communicate more effectively with hearing people in their home and work environments. In terms of congruency, the program basically met the stated needs. However, the program should be more relevant to the home and work environment, and new communication technology should be incorporated more specifically into the program. Finally, the technology question clearly showed that students want the new information technologies to be fully integrated into the program.