Frequently Asked Questions About Teacher Preparation Programs in the Field of Deaf Education

What are the three main types of teacher preparation programs in the field of deaf education?

There are three types of deaf education teacher preparation programs as defined by the Council on Education of the Deaf from which to choose a program of study.

  • Oral-Aural Programs
    University teacher preparation programs that focus on the preparation of oral-aural teachers emphasize audiology, aural rehabilitation, and techniques for listening and speech development in addition to specialized teaching strategies. Many programs following the oral-aural philosophy work with children who have received cochlear implants and, therefore, prepare deaf educators to work in therapeutic settings or schools that focus on increasing access to auditory information and spoken communication development.


  • ASL/English Bilingual Programs
    University teacher preparation programs that focus on the preparation of ASL/English bilingual teachers emphasize the acquisition of American Sign Language and English through reading and writing. These programs also value deaf culture as one of the many cultures represented by the diverse student population. Majoring in this area requires one to become proficient in American Sign Language and knowledgeable in the visual learning needs of deaf and hard of hearing students.


  • Comprehensive Programs
    Most university teacher preparation programs in the United States belong to this category. Comprehensive programs provide majors with a variety of techniques in order to prepare them to be versatile enough to work with children who are deaf or hard of hearing in a variety of settings. In addition to courses in instructional strategies, comprehensive programs may offer coursework in audiology, speech pathology, aural rehabilitation, and sign language. Some programs offer courses in communication systems such as cued speech or signed English. Others provide courses in American Sign Language.


Deaf Education Frequently Asked Questions