Felix’s Story: Access in Classroom

Sep 30, 2020

Video description: https://tinyurl.com/wfklb65


Text, Access in Classroom, Felix Gonzalez

Gonzalez communicates with sign language.


I took one year off from school, then came back to college. I took a few classes where the students were all deaf. They were aware I was DeafBlind. I told them what I needed and suggested we use an interpreter who works with DeafBlind people.

This was an English class with all deaf students.

When I first entered the classroom, I had to determine the best place to sit. I decided to sit over on the far right side. You know how deaf classrooms tend to be arranged in a half-moon shape

so that students can see one another signing and turn-taking; so I sat over on the right side of the half-moon. The interpreter sat near me, directly across from me so that I could use my residual vision to see them copy-signing the dialogue from the classroom.

As the class went on, the interpreter would copy-sign everything. I was able to understand the teacher and all of the questions or comments from the class. It was fairly comfortable.

The teacher made a point to meet with me one-on-one and discuss my needs in the first or second week of class. The teacher suggested a different method for managing the classroom dialogue without the need of an interpreter. She offered to manage the turn-taking in class so that I had time to look at whomever was making the comment. The teacher shared the plans with the rest of the class, and worked it all out.

It was interesting…she explained that she was familiar with DeafBlind people because her ex-husband was DeafBlind. He had Usher’s Syndrome. She was sensitive to ensure I was included in the class.

As the class went on, the teacher continued with that method of interaction management. Once a student would raise their hand, she would make sure we had time to attend to that student. She didn’t allow students to talk over each other, so I was able to follow my classmates and view direct instruction from the teacher.


Text, national deaf center dot org.

© National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes
Video licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International

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Topic(s): eLearning
Type of Resource: Videos

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