I recently got the (possibly once-in-a-lifetime) chance to visit Gallaudet University, the world’s only Deaf university.
It is physically quite small when you consider the cities that they call universities in other places in the US, and even if you compare it to my own University of the West Indies, which is dwarfed by many of those. But that smallness does not take away from its allure. It is a beautiful place, even in the midst of the deadening effect of winter, and it has such great potential to feel like home.
Classrooms are arranged differently from your average university. Desks are arranged in a semi-circle to allow for students to more easily see each other and the professor. After all, classes are conducted in ASL. The book shop clerks are Deaf and sign. What a beautiful experience it is to be surrounded by a Deaf community. It would be a dream come true to enrol.
Care to see photos of my visit? Check them out here.
Being in such an environment makes you think how empowered Deaf are in the US. They have a university that strives to have a Deaf, signing environment. A university! Not a just community college. Most Deaf in Jamaica don’t go much further than high school.
Makes one dream. My appetite’s whetted. Let’s see what happens from here.