Lifelong Learning Programme

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Young Deaf. Schooling and professional paths
Gomes, Maria do Céu
Educação, Sociedade e Cultura, nº 32, 2011
Porto, 2011
Web Article
Students with learning difficulties
This article proposes to inform about the social inclusion or exclusion of deaf individuals throughout their lives. The body, identity and, particularly, citizenship are the aspects of social inclusion/exclusion this article explores for it wishes to focus on the schooling of the interviewees. Through biographical testimonials the individuals talk about their own issues, in their own voices. Although in the past decades we have assisted to a progressive recognition of the rights of deaf people, as visible through political speeches and legislation, there hasn’t been any real change.
This article was published to pay tribute to one of the interviewees, the late Carlos Ferreira. This young men wanted to be identified by name because he thought his testimonial would have greater impact that way for his peers and for those in society who can hear
The main focus of this research was the analysis of the structural places in which the deaf individual is included, in particular the family, school and the general community where he is included. The author was inspired by Stephen Stoer, António Magalhães and David Rodrigues, “Os Lugares da Exclusão Social: Um Dispositivo de Diferenciação Pedagógica” published in 2004. In this book, the authors give to the concepts of “body”, “work”, “identity”, “citizenship” and “territory” the designation of “places” of social inclusion and exclusion of deaf people.
The body should be the starting point because deaf people have created a sign language because they could not hear and cannot use verbal language. It is by defending sign language to communicate and to gain access to social services, such as education and jobs, that the deaf individual protects his/her difference. The article emphasizes citizenship by analysing the school path of one of the interviewees and reflecting about the different educational models available for deaf students, not only in high and middle schools but also in higher education institutions. The professional expectations of these youngsters are also taken into consideration. The categories body, identity and citizenship are related, so they appear naturally when we talk about deaf people’s issues.
This article was chosen because the education of deaf people has been an object of discussion throughout times and because there are still some very badly argued pedagogic issues that affect these students. The education of the deaf continues to be a challenge for educational policies that promote inclusion and the entrance of deaf children into regular schools. This requires teaching methodologies open to the implementation of bilingual inclusive practises, which is not always easy.
The article thus enables reflection about the barriers deaf people face every day in school and how this reflects on their professional expectations.
As professionals, parents or mere citizens, it is important that everyone understands the feelings and points of view of these students by listening to their experiences, because they are the best informants about their lifestyle and experience.
It is important not to forget that the integration of the deaf child must happen in a social space where he/she can fearlessly acknowledge his/her disability and freely express him/herself, while simultaneously rendering that space one that encourages communication and the learning process. School cannot be a place where a deaf child has to give up on his/her identity and language.
This study promotes a reflexive and critical posture of those who deal with deaf people, both children and adults, because they often live situations of social exclusion. Deafness, however, does not have to become a barrier or a problem.
It is up to each teacher to develop activities that encourage inter-relations amongst all student who hear and those who do not in the classroom, as well as to develop pedagogies that promote the learning of all children. The aim has to be to give deaf children the best possible education by understanding the linguistic difference they introduce into the classroom, and by promoting equal access and opportunities as well as continuity inside the school for deaf students.
Name of Compiler
Catarina Louro
Name of Institution
Instituto Politécnico de Castelo Branco
Role in the institution
Junior researcher

20 December 2014

Final Partners’ meeting

The fourth partners’ meeting took place in Florence (IT) on 15 December 2014. The meeting had the objective to check the activities carried out since the third meeting of the project and share and assess the in progress results. A special focus has been dedicated to the presentation of the strategies to solve the case scenarios.