Tertiary sector experiences

Following the success of our International Week of Deaf People webinar, we were contacted and asked for more information from the young panelists about their experience of tertiary education. The four young adults met online again to reflect on their years of study.

The video is a resource intended to highlight the challenges they faced throughout their study, in the hope that tertiary institutions in NZ will become more aware of what accessibility needs to look like for Deaf students. The video is also intended to highlight the things that worked well for them and positive take aways they had from their time as tertiary students.

  • Cha’nel Kaa-Luke has completed a Bachelor in Psychology and Māori Indigenous Studies and nearing completion of the Certificate in Deaf Studies.
  • Zoe Ferguson has graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Management – Project Management.
  • Cory Myatt is currently studying Bachelor of Teaching and Learning and has completed the Certificate in Deaf Studies.
  • Meghan Coppage has completed the Certificate in Deaf Studies.

They share about the systemic barriers they faced that led to having to take on additional work to advocate for themselves to gain access to the classes.

The group shares which access requirements they asked for and accessed during their studies, these were interpreters, notetakers, captioning and transcripts. But the access to these supports were hard fought for.

Watching Meghan’s experience of tertiary education in a Deaf context it is clear to see the value of direct education and the difference it makes when the lecturer shares your language and culture. All four agree that secondary schools need to be doing more to expose Deaf learners to successful Deaf adults out in the world and schools need to giving Deaf students more skills in advocacy to parepare them for facing barriers in the tertiary sector.

There is much to learn from these young people, as they mention in the video they are not the only Deaf students experience these things and more. The hope is by placing a spotlight on these experiences, Tertiary intstitutions and educators in the compulsory sector will have a look at what is currently happening and what changes need to be made to improve access for Deaf learners.

We appreciate these young people coming together and bravely sharing their stories. We hope families with deaf children and young deaf students in high School currently, will gain something from seeing this and feel better prepared for the tertiary sector.

To finish off Meghan, Cha’nel, Zoe and Cory have a message to Deaf young people and that is to

“be brave, be determined, know you rights and ask questions”!

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