Students who seek speech-language instruction are representative of the population of deaf and hard of hearing students at RIT/NTID. Demographic information collected on students enrolled in speech-language instruction over the past three years reveals the following:
- 62% are pursuing associate degrees through the College of NTID
- 38% are pursuing Bachelor's degrees through other colleges of the Institute
- 81% of the students were in mainstreamed environments
- 19% came to RIT/NTID from schools for the Deaf
RIT/NTID is seeing an increasing number of students with cochlear implants. This increase is reflected in the speech-language instructional caseload. This year:
- 20% of the students with cochlear implants pursued speech-language instruction
- 69% of these students had received their cochlear implants within the last two years.
The students' previous experience with speech-language therapy varied from minimal to extensive, with 27% indicating they had received extensive instructional services from preschool through high school. Conversely, 20% of the students who seek instruction have had minimal prior experience. The students also varied in their preferred mode of communication upon entry to RIT/NTID:
A battery of formal and informal tests is administered to all students receiving speech-language instruction. Measures of speech intelligibility reveal diversity in the students seeking speech-language instruction.
Incoming Data reveals the following:
Prior to beginning instruction students are asked to self-rate their intelligibility and self-rate their confidence using speech:
The diversity of this data indicates that few assumptions can be made about who will or will not seek speech-language instruction at RIT/NTID. This diversity presents a welcome challenge to the speech-language pathologists who will be serving these students.
Students tend to seek instruction with a basic notion of wanting to improve their communication with hearing people, particularly those they will be encountering on the job. Through instructional interaction, students come to understand what is involved in improving their communication with hearing people and what their potential is for achieving that goal.