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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Course Delivers Key Information on Deafness, Accommodations

Access The Fundamentals

Access: The Fundamentals is a straightforward and informative introduction to the nature of hearing loss and its implications for communication and learning in educational settings. The course also provides basic information about accommodations that can make employment, education and other activities accessible for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, and information on legal obligations under Section 504, ADA, and Section 508.

While designed for postsecondary educators and staff, anyone who works with individuals who are D/HH—high school staff and faculty, rehabilitation coordinators, and employment councilors, for example—will find this self-guided online course useful.  

College students who are deaf or hard of hearing narrate course videos in American Sign Language. English captions and voice-over are also provided.

Participants who successfully complete the training in a single online session (about one hour) and score 80% overall on the section quizzes may download and print a pn2 Certificate of Completion.

You’ll need a pn2 username and password to access the course. If you do not already have them you can create them when you go to the course homepage.

Pepnet 2 Offers Online Resources for Educators

The pepnet 2 website is home to a wide array of tools and resources educators may find useful, including several new products and updates of favorite older resources.

Pepnet 2 Offers Online Resources for EducatorsSome new or updated pepnet 2 products:

Access: The Fundamentals is an easy-to-use e-learning training that provides basic information about hearing loss and its implications for communication and learning in educational settings. Designed for postsecondary faculty and staff who work with students who are deaf or hard of hearing, it is also a valuable resource for high school programs, community rehabilitation centers, VR offices, employment programs and anyone who wants to better understand hearing loss. Take the online class.

The pn2 Online Notetaker Training, revised and updated, is now available from the pn2 website. The self-guided training offers strategies that enable student notetakers to provide accurate, comprehensive classroom and lecture notes for students with disabilities who use this accommodation.

Students who successfully complete the training submit a set of notes they have taken to their supervisor for review, and receive a printed pn2 Certificate of Completion from pepnet 2. Download the Online Notetaker Training pdf.

Refresh your sign language skills in several content areas via our online ASL video resources:

Other useful topics for students, parents and educators on the pn2 website include:

These resources provide a wealth of information through the use of videos and related documents.

Students can explore career opportunities viewing the Achieving Goals online video series. When they’ve completed school, the Getting a Job! video series can help them do just that. Narrated in ASL with English and Spanish translation Getting a Job!  is a useful resource for students, transition staff, and vocational rehabilitation professionals in preparing for the transition from school to work. 

Pn2 QuickClasses Offer New Approach to eLearning

Register now for Fall/Winter 2012 Quickclasses

The pepnet2 QuickClass training series represents a new elearning model, built upon 15 year’s experience developing online learning and training products. The  new series of tightly focused, topical online trainings promises to increase professionals’ skills and build institutions’ capacities to educate and work with individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.

QuickClass classsmates meet online to participate in discussions and forums, work on projects, share documents and other resources, search for related information, and provide feedback. Each participant thus contributes to the knowledgebase of the entire class, building a learning community.

Each six-week QuickClass covers a single topic in depth, and requires a time commitment of about five hours per week per course, however participants are not required to attend class at a specific time: QuickClasses are fully asynchronous.

After a successful pilot of two pilot QuickClasses, pn2 launched four new QuickClasses for the Winter 2012 session:

  • Post-production or Offline Captioning,
  • Mentoring Interpreters in the Postsecondary Environment,
  • New Technology for a New Generation and
  • Skill Building for New C-Print® Captionists. 

The classes are off to a great start with 44 registered participants. 

Classes for the winter session will be announced in the December eUpdate; registration opens December 13; classes begin January 13

QuickClasses are free, however a pn2 username and password are required to register.  Get a pn2 username and password here.

Please note that some QuickClasses have admissions criteria to ensure that the class content is appropriate for the students’ skills and experience levels.

Participants successfully completing QuickClasses receive a Verification of Completion document.  (Participants interested in receiving CEUs must make arrangements with their certifying body PRIOR to taking the class.  Pn2 will provide the necessary information, but participants are responsible for obtaining their own CEUs. For more information see our QuickClass CEU page.)

New! Online Interactive Training for Student Notetakers

New interactive student notetaker training now online

Student notetakers can now learn to deliver high quality class and lecture notes by completing an online class. The revised and updated pepnet 2 Online Notetaker Training course is accessible from internet-connected computers 24/7.

The self-guided training defines the role of the notetaker, delivers information on hearing loss, and provides notetaking strategies that enable student notetakers to provide accurate, comprehensive classroom and lecture notes for students who are deaf or hard of hearing who use this accommodation.

The training can be completed in multiple sessions or all at once.  When students are confident they have learned the material, they can tale an online quiz that evaluates their notetaking knowledge. A passing score earns a “Verification of Training Completion,” which the student can print.  

The new interactive notetaker training builds upon the success of the previous self-guided pdf/print version that trained more than 1,900 student notetakers since January 2012.

Student notetakers can access the training from pepnet.org, logging in to their pn2 online account, and choosing Online Notetaker from the eLearning drop-down menu.

If you do not yet have a pn2 online account, the login window will guide you to create one. 

Introducing A Closer Look: Signs for VR Terminology

A Closer Look: Signs for VR TerminologyA new resource offered by pepnet 2 can facilitate clear communication among individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing and the professionals who work with them in a Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) setting.

A Closer Look: Signs for VR Terminology defines and demonstrates the use of VR terms in ASL and English text. Selecting a term from a menu gives the term’s meaning and a sentence using the term in context. A video provides the ASL content, and text boxes to the right contain English text translations.

Here are a few of the people who will find useful information in this resource:

  •  An interpreter preparing for a transition planning meeting;
  •  A vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselor getting ready for a discussion with a consumer who is deaf or hard of hearing;
  •  A high school graduate who is hard of hearing looking for job placement assistance

A Closer Look: Signs for VR Terminology comprises 8 categories:

  • Hearing/Sensory Loss Terms
  • General VR Terminology Terms
  • Referral/Application Terms
  • Eligibility & Comprehensive Assessment Terms
  • IPE & Physical/Mental Restoration Terms
  • Rehab Technology Terms
  • Training & Job Development and Placement Terms
  • Closure Terms

View and/or download A Closer Look: Signs for VR Terminology here.

Current versions of Adobe Reader and Quicktime Player are needed to properly display A Closer Look: Signs for VR Terminology. For more information, please visit the pepnet 2 website at www.pepnet.org


Panel Highlights Importance of Access to Higher Ed Extracurricular Activities 

Panel highlights importance of access to higher ed extracurricular activities

A panel of five postsecondary students who are deaf or hard of hearing, including two who are deafblind, told how access to extracurricular activities enriched their educational experience and broadened their employment options. They also told PTI/AHEAD conference attendees about self-advocacy strategies that ensured that they received the accommodations they needed to participate in those activities.

“When you offer accessibility to deaf students,” one panelist said, “then they become equal. It levels the playing field.”

The achievements of the panelists are impressive and include:

  •  Studying abroad.
  •  Promoting local, national and international understanding of deafness and the benefits of providing appropriate accommodations.
  • Participating in professional internships.
  • Attending professional conferences and workshops.
  • Founding and running a business.
  • Holding leadership roles in mainstream campus organizations.
  • Founding and participating in campus organizations for students who are D/HH.

The extracurricular activities experienced by the panelists are an important component of postsecondary education, but to fully participate a student who is D/HH may need accommodations ranging from sign language interpreters and captionists to improved lighting, specialized transportation and changes of venue.

To ensure that they receive the accommodations they need, the panelists used a variety of strategies. Some of the panelists reviewed the policies and resources of schools they were interested in before they applied. One said of a prestigious school that failed to meet his access requirements, “Even though the education is fantastic, if I am not going to have access, it's not worth my time and money.”

A panelist who had little experience using accommodations first attended a mainstream university. She said, “At my mainstream school, the disability services counselor informed me that there were interpreters available, as well as the captioning for classes. I didn't know that that was even available. I didn't know about the Americans With Disabilities Act."

But she soon found that instructors also needed to be in the accommodations loop. “When I had gone to my classes and showed up and was ready for the first day, the instructors looked puzzled and said, ‘What is this? A captionist? An interpreter? And you are deaf? Can you even read and write?’”

She resolved her access issues by transferring to Gallaudet University. “At Gallaudet they gave me the exact accommodations I needed, and it was quite simple. It was an amazing experience.”

A panelist who is deafblind had a different experience at a mainstream school.

“I'm the first deaf and blind student to enter my college,” she said. “It's a culinary school. I chose to go into pastry and business administration. I lived there at the school.

“I knew I would need a lot of interpreting and other accommodations. The school researched appropriate accommodations for a deaf and blind student.

“I went to several meetings, and they offered an interpreter for me full‑time. They gave me extended time for homework and for testing.

“I was able to go to [Ireland] and study as well. I had to make sure that everything, the logistics, were set up in the dorm, that the lighting was appropriate, that they would have PowerPoint copies for me. I wanted to make sure that I had all of the information” that the other students had. As I said, I had many meetings to coordinate the accommodations, and so this way I was able to enjoy and fully benefit from my college experience.”

This panelist now runs a pastry business she founded.

The panelists who studied abroad all talked about their increased appreciation for and understanding of other cultures. They also noted that communication in a foreign language could be difficult.

 “There are so many things and so many experiences that I had there.

It was such a different culture,” said a panelist who studied in China for four months. “The way of thinking there is so different.”

About the availability of accommodations in China she said, “It's really tough for the Chinese deaf people. I learned how they get along in society, and what type of access they have. It's not as good as ours.”

Regarding communication she said, “I was trying to learn some [Chinese] signs and how they were different from American Sign Language, and how it connects to their spoken language. That was difficult.” She relied on Cued Speech and credited participation in her school’s Chinese Language Table for her ability to communicate with her Chinese hosts.

“I don't really quite know what direction I will be going in yet, but that China experience will definitely benefit me in the future, as far as employment or what I do.”

One panelist’s study abroad experience may lead to improved access for European students who are D/HH:

 “I lived in Austria for six months,” the panelist said. “I had two interpreters who were committed to work with me the whole time I was there, pretty much 24/7. I met a deaf woman, a member of parliament. She was shocked that I had a team of two interpreters with me. I explained about the accommodations that we have in the U.S., and she explained that Austria doesn't have those kinds of accommodations, that deaf people in Austria might be lucky to have one or two interpreters for maybe one or two of their classes in a year. The interpreter resources are so scarce it will take them longer to graduate. They also don't have captioning services. Austria is the fifth richest country in the European union. I am not sure why they don't have what we have. When the MP interviewed me on TV, my ASL interpreters voiced into English for me, then an interpreter to voiced from spoken English to spoken German and then another interpreter from German into Austrian sign language. What a fantastic experience. I was interviewed for the newspaper three times and once for a local magazine. It made me realize how fortunate I am. I have a lot of gratitude for the kinds of privileges that we have in the U.S. that they just don't have abroad. It was a very rich experience for me.”

The panelist believes the interviews and news coverage will help people fight for laws, rights and privileges in other countries, “Because when I brought my accommodations with me, it made an impression.”

This panel made it clear that access to extracurricular activities—study abroad, dorm life, foreign language clubs, distinguished lecturer series, special events, film series, student government, internships, job fairs, and many other activities—can benefit not only the student who is D/HH but their educational institution, their community and the international community.

 Educators and researchers have confirmed the benefits of participation in extracurricular activities. Award-winning Syracuse University professor Vincent Tinto is a noted theorist in the field of higher education—particularly concerning student retention and learning communities. He has this to say regarding the impact of the social interaction afforded by access to extracurricular activities:

“I have long pointed to the importance of academic and social integration, or what is more commonly referred to as involvement or engagement, to student retention.  The more students are academically and socially involved, especially during the first year of college, the more likely are they to persist and graduate.”   Tinto emphasizes that “involvement matters especially during the first year of college when student membership in the communities of the campus is so tenuous.”

 Here are links to some related pn2 resources:

Study Abroad Resources      Self-Advocacy Resources


pn2 on Social MediaCheck out pepnet 2 on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll find links to new trainings, resources, news articles, blogs and more. We hope you will join us to discuss important issues that affect us all. Come follow us!!!

Facebook: PEPNet 2

Twitter: pepnet_2_0

We are steadily expanding our use of Twitter hashtags (#) in our posts and tweets. Our focus is topics important to our community of individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, their friends and family, and the professionals who work with them.

So far our hashtag lists includes: #deaf, #access, #disability, #college, #career, #advocacy, #captioning, #ASL, #elearning, #interpreter..... and more to come!

If you have ideas for others, let us know.

Happy Hashtaggin’!!


Carrie Lou GarberoglioCarrie Lou Garberoglio, B.A. Humanities; M.S. Deaf Education/Deaf Studies

Carrie Lou Garberoglio is the lead graduate research assistant in the pepnet 2 Research and Evidence Synthesis Center (RES) at the University of Texas-Austin.

She is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Educational Psychology at UT-A specializing in Human Development, Culture and Learning Sciences.

Carrie Lou’s work for RES is closely aligned with her research interest in evidence-based practices in deaf education settings. She is currently researching beliefs of the self in teaching and language learning, digital discourse processes, and how technology can enable multimodal practices in deaf education.

Carrie Lou is an affiliated researcher with the NSF Science of Learning Center for Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2). Her work has been published in the Journal of Deaf Education and Deaf Studies.

Carrie Lou, who is deaf, has a Masters’ degree in Deaf Education and Deaf Studies from Lamar University. Before graduate school, Carrie Lou was a Waldorf early childhood teacher in the hills of Northern California and lived with her family on a sustainable farm in Oregon. In spite of her busy schedule she makes time for sewing, knitting, and dreaming about sheep.


Carrie KovachevichCarrie Kovachevich, B.A.

Carrie Kovachevich is a Personnel Development Assistant on the pepnet 2 PD team housed at the University of Montana-Missoula. She coordinates online training of certified note takers and is responsible for tracking and recording training provided under the five-year PD plan.

Carrie is originally from Michigan, and has a B.A. in Psychology from Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo. She earned a second B.A. in Sign Language Studies, with an emphasis on Interpreting, from Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan. Carrie is working towards her national certification from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf.