Article: Gallaudet University, Ohlone College sign articulation agreement - Deaf Studies Division in the News

Gallaudet University, Ohlone College sign articulation agreement

By Gallaudet University.

Friday, May 11, 2012-Reprinted from Gallaudet University.

Genie Gertz in front of sign for Ohlone College Deaf Center.

In addition to celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Ohlone College Language and Culture Center for Deaf Studies, Ohlone looked toward the future with the signing of an articulation agreement between the college and Gallaudet University. The agreement was signed by Ohlone College President Gari Browning and Gallaudet Provost Stephen Weiner.

Dr. Jim Wright, Ohlone vice president of academic affairs, commented that the signing of the agreement was a formal recognition of many years of partnership with Gallaudet. Ohlone College has numerous faculty who are Gallaudet alumni, has matriculated many students over the years, and has been the host site for the Gallaudet University Regional Center - West since 1983. Dr. Weiner echoed those statements, saying, "The enduring partnership between Ohlone College and Gallaudet University has benefited both our institutions, and the regional, national, and global deaf communities as well. Ohlone, with its strategic location in the San Francisco Bay area, has served as a gateway for generations of deaf and hard of hearing students who aspire to higher education, and Gallaudet proudly counts among its alumni many students who began their studies at Ohlone. We are also proud of the Gallaudet University Regional Center, which has enriched the lives of tens of thousands of deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing students, families, and professionals through its programs and services. On behalf of Gallaudet University, I congratulate the Ohlone community on its 40 years of service."

Since 1972, the Language and Culture Center for Deaf Studies at Ohlone College has opened the doors to educational and occupational opportunities for deaf and hard of hearing people. Inspired by the leadership of George Attletweed and other visionary educators, the Deaf Studies Division at Ohlone College allowed deaf students in the area to continue their education at an institution for higher learning. Since its founding , the Deaf Studies Division has continued to grow and has expanded to include instruction in American Sign Language (ASL) and an Interpreter Preparation Program (IPP).

The Deaf Studies Division was established when the college reached out to 30 deaf and hard of hearing students to join the Ohlone College learning community. Since then, the division has grown to serve more than 200 deaf and hard of hearing students each year and 420 ASL and IPP students. It is one of the largest and most comprehensive programs in the nation, with award winning faculty, and a new state-of-the-art Language Lab. The division has a national and international reputation for excellence in education with its collaboration with Japan (Japanese ASL Signers Society [JASS] and the Nippon Foundation), Sweden, and visitors from all over the world. All faculty and staff are fluent in American Sign Language, trained in the areas of deaf education and/or rehabilitation counseling, and are sensitive to the diverse cultural and educational background of the students. The division also hosts the Gallaudet University Regional Center - West, providing consultation, technical assistance, professional development and outreach to the eight western states.

Under the direction of Dr. Genie Gertz, dean of the Deaf Studies Division, faculty and staff welcomed nearly 400 people visiting the Language and Culture Center for Deaf Studies. Visitors toured the Evelyn Henderson Deaf Studies Lab, as well as classroom and office facilities for the division. On display were numerous works by deaf artists, including former and current students.

The event included statements by Gertz; Dr. Browning; Ron Burdett, the first dean of the division and currently vice president for Sorenson VRS; Rumiko Nozaki, ASL Program alumna and JASS executive director; Pam Brain, IPP alumna; and Nicky Lim and Carlos Medina, DEAF Program students and ASL Club officers.

Rounding out the day, Chris Joseph, an Ohlone deaf student and nominee for the American College Theater Festival Irene Ryan Acting Scholarship Award, performed for the audience.