Speaker to discuss education strategy for deaf Latino students

From teaching at the only university for the hearing impaired in the country to establishing bilingual education for the deaf in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday’s Green Honors Chair speaker has raised awareness of the need for multicultural education for deaf and partially deaf students.

Barbara Gerner de Garcia, the speaker, is professor and chair of the educational-foundations and research department at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C.

The majority of students who are deaf and partially deaf at TCU happen to be part of the Hispanic population, said Terri Gonzalez, program coordinator for the habilitation of the deaf program. Gerner de Garcia has the expertise of communicating with those students, she said.

William Ryan, chair of the department of communication-sciences and disorders, said people like Gerner de Garcia who specialize in the area are much needed.

“Not only does she combine deaf/hard of hearing expertise with the Hispanic culture, but she brings in the ability to use sign language,” Ryan said.

Gerner de Garcia will also have a workshop broadcast via satellite to educators all over Texas from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Thursday from Region XI in Fort Worth. Region XI is one of 20 educational-service centers that provide information, staff-development help and support to schools in Texas.

“Hispanics make up the majority of deaf and hard of hearing students, and yet, there are strategies out there that teachers are not aware of,” Daniel Diffee, consultant for deaf education at Region XI, said. Gerner de Garcia will focus on those strategies and main points to help Texas educators work with the students and parents as well, he said.

Gerner de Garcia will have two on-campus presentations – one from 6:30 to 8 p.m. today in Sid Richardson, Lecture Hall 2 and one from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday in the Palko building, Room 130. Both lectures will focus on deaf Latino students and are free and open to the public. A Spanish translator and a sign-language interpreter will be present.