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Educating Deaf Students: Global Perspectives|
The greatest concern in the world today relates to the economic disparity between developed and developing countries. Health, education, food, shelter, safety, employment, and protecting the environment continue to be among the world’s most pressing problems.
Our proud profession has responded to a number of challenges and crises over the years. Developments that were intended to make life easier inadvertently created problems of accommodation for people who cannot hear. In this new millennium, we are challenged once again to refine the knowledge and skills that deaf people must possess if they are to function independently with confidence and ability.
Before closing, I would like to relay how a dream I have held for more than 50 years in the profession is becoming a reality. NTID, with generous support from the Nippon Foundation of Japan, is implementing a model network that links postsecondary education institutions around the world serving students who are deaf: the Postsecondary Education Network International (PEN-International). PEN-International (http://www.pen.ntid.rit.edu/) uses innovative educational technology and a faculty development model to impact positively on the teaching and learning processes in classrooms serving deaf persons. In time, there is no reason that this model network cannot be replicated at the primary and secondary education levels.
With continuing hard work and vision, our field can conquer the challenges we face. Our students deserve no less.