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Preparing Teachers of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children for Rural Settings

Susan Rose, University of Minnesota & Patricia McAnally, Arizona School for the Deaf and Blind

Providing educational and/or support services to students who are deaf or hard of hearing requires highly specialized knowledge and skills under the best conditions. Preparing teachers to serve students in sparsely populated rural areas of the country increases the complexity of the task. A preservice training model designed and implemented to address the unique needs of rural teachers was presented. Included in the model were recruitment and retention efforts, the use of distance education options, cooperative agreements with state colleges, identification of the unique knowledge and skills required for teachers in rural areas, and the implementation of ongoing professional support.

Discussion focused on the evaluation results, the effectiveness of the current training process, and exploration of alternative preservice training models.