How to Teach Deaf people in Outdoor Education

(Instructor) Hello Everyone! My name is Hayley, and were going to be
learning some cool facts, about some trees. There’s a type of tree that we’re
going to see today and it is very popular in Duluth, and it’s called the White Pine. So
first we are going to take a look at it. You can touch it, feel it and then
we’ll go into how to identify it. So come follow me and we’ll head towards that direction. (Interpreter Voice) Wow it’s a really tall tree. (Instructor) So Tall. (Interpreter Voice) It looks like it might be pretty old too. It is important to stop and make sure all participants eyes are on the teacher or leader before you start giving instruction. The teacher points at a
specific tree or object to show the participants what they are going to
learn in the lesson. When all participants eyes are on the teacher or leader, they can begin their instruction. After the lesson the teacher or leader
can tell the participants to touch the tree Look at it and experiment with it
without other audio or visual distractions. (Instructor) Now that we all got to see
the tree and touch it let’s look a little more in depth of what
might be a White Pine. So if you want to all come in come a little closer, you can feel free to poke at it and give me some like observations that you can see. (Interpreter Voice) Why do some have 5 needles and some have 3 needles? (Instructor) White is five, and white pines have five needles in a bunch and so that’s why they probably named it White Pine so we can remember as tree geeks and it is easier for us to classify. So how does one work with an interpreter? Here’s a teacher working with an
interpreter. When everyone in the group is in position, the teacher should make
sure the interpreter is next to them, and ready to go before they proceed with
teaching the class. When they start it’s very important to keep their voices at a moderate level and pace, They don’t want to speak too quickly or too slowly so that the interpretation is disrupted. ASL and English are very different languages. ASL has its own grammar and the sentence might look like this. In English, the sentence would be something like “I am going to school” and would take much longer. Interpreters love it if you can give
them prep materials in advance of the lesson. A week or two is great. Then the
interpreter has time to look over the lesson, study up on anything they don’t understand and be ready for the day, when you give the lesson, so that their interpretation is smooth. (Instructor) This is called our red pine… and unlike the white pine it has 2 needles to a bunch. (Student) So 2 to a bunch, not 5. (Instructor) Not 5, right (Student) So if the tree is old, then its going to be tall? Okay? (Instructor) Right (Student to student) So if the tree is old, its going to be tall? (Student) Like that one’s old? Yeah. As you just saw, if there’s no
interpreter available, you’d want to let your deaf participants know that, and then, ask them how they’d prefer to communicate. They might have some different options
that would work for them. Prep materials, could be given to the students a few
days in advance so that they can read over the materials to become familiar
with the content and then feel comfortable while the lesson is being delivered without an interpreter. As an instructor, you should include gestures, facial expressions, body language. Show paddling of a canoe rather than just
talking about it. Point at things in the environment. Use gestures in a natural way. For example, eating an apple. A third thing you can do is provide
pictures. It’s very important to have visual materials ready for your lesson. For example if you’re doing something related to birds, you would want to have some different pictures so students could identify the birds. If someone hears something, then you can show the picture to the students and they’ll all know what you’re talking about. There are some deaf people who prefer to learn in ASL. In that case, you might ask other participants if feel comfortable or capable working with deaf participants. So how could you ask that question? Well, I don’t recommend asking it this way? “Do you know ASL?” Because people have all
sorts of different ideas of what that might mean. Maybe it’s fingerspelling, maybe it’s basic ASL, maybe it’s gestural. Instead, you might ask, is there anyone who feels comfortable signing with their group that’s a much better way to ask. Inclusivity is everyone’s responsibility,
so everyone can feel comfortable, have fun, be safe, and have a great experience!

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