Press Release - Office of College Advancement

Thursday, February 2, 2006
Office of College Advancement
Ohlone College

For Immediate Release:

Dean of Deaf Studies and Special Services Presents Keynote Presentation in New Zealand

Dean of Deaf Studies and Special Services, Joe McLaughlin, traveled to New Zealand to present a keynote presentation at the Australia New Zealand Conference for Educators of the Deaf in early January.

As one of four international guests, McLaughlin spoke to an audience of 250 government officials, educators and parents about the role of the Deaf Studies Center at Ohlone College. Ohlone’s ASL curriculum, deaf preparation program and interpreter services were of particular interest. “They wanted to pick my brain for ideas,” commented McLaughlin.

The theme of this year’s conference was an “early, effective, coordinated” approach to deaf education, a methodology that Ohlone’s Deaf Studies Center employs. “[The conference] was really explaining how we can be more coordinated in student services and be more united in how we function,” explained McLaughlin. Such programs as the Deaf Preparation Program make the transition easier for deaf and hard of hearing students to move into mainstream classrooms and employment.

The conference is meant to be a forum for improving deaf education in Australia and New Zealand, which currently has two schools for the deaf, whereas America has 50. Deaf technology and education is lagging in New Zealand, said McLaughlin, adding that American Sign Language has been around for ages whereas the New Zealand Sign Language was established just a decade ago in the 1990s. The Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TTY), which allows the hard of hearing and deaf to communicate via a phone line and a keyboard, was only recently put in place in New Zealand. The United States, on the other hand, has already advanced to using videophones, which allows the deaf to sign with one another through a video feed.

McLaughlin has also attended deaf conferences and consulted with deaf educators in Malaysia, Hong Kong and England in the past.

For more information, please contact the Joe McLaughlin at:


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