Visit by President of the world’s only university for Deaf students
Press release issued: 20 May 2008
The President of the world’s only university specifically designed for Deaf and hard of hearing students will be in Bristol later this week to give two special talks.
Dr Robert Davila, President of Gallaudet University, will talk about the current situations of Deaf people in America and the changes that are and will be occurring in the future. Both talks, organised by Bristol University’s Centre for Deaf Studies, are free and open to public.
The first talk entitled Education of Deaf people in America: past, present and future will take place at 2 pm on Friday, May 23 at Bristol University in the Dining Room, Royal Fort House, Bristol. This talk will be delivered in ASL (American Sign Language), BSL (British Sign Language), and in English.
Current developments contributing to an improved quality of life for Deaf Americans is the second talk and will take place at 7.30 pm on Friday, May 23 at the Centre for Deaf People, 16-18 King Square, Bristol. This talk will be delivered in ASL (American Sign Language) and in English.
Born in South California to Mexican parents, Dr Davila became deaf at the age of eight, after contracting spinal meningitis. Davila’s mother learnt about a special school for deaf children in the northern part of the state and determined that her young son have a fair shot at life, she sent him off alone to the city of Berkeley and to the California School for the Deaf.
Dr Davila has been deeply involved with education of young Deaf people in America as a researcher, as a classroom teacher, and as an institutional administrator. He became the ninth President of Gallaudet University on 1 January 2007.
During his career, Dr Davila has been assistant secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the US Department of Education. As assistant secretary he was the federal government’s chief advisor on federal policy affecting the education and vocational rehabilitation of the nation’s 40 million people with disabilities.
Lorna Allsop, Director of the Centre for Deaf Studies, said: “We are delighted to welcome Robert Davila to Bristol University. He has had an amazing journey to personal and professional success and this is a unique opportunity for members of the public to attend the talks. We look forward to welcoming everyone.”
For further details, please contact Michiko Kaneko on 0117 954 6913.
Further informationBristol University’s Centre for Deaf Studies (CDS) opened in 1978 and was Europe’s first academic institution to concentrate solely on research and education that aims to benefit the Deaf community. CDS has a long tradition of teaching and researching BSL (British Sign Language) and interpreting, Deaf people and culture, and recently it initiated the research in “Deafhood” (seeing Deaf people as a cultural linguistic minority group).
CDS runs Deaf Station (www.deafstation.org), the world's longest running daily news service and archive in sign language, Sign Station (www.signstation.org), which provides extensive sign language learning on line, and Mobile Sign (www.mobilesign.org), the only mobile phone accessible sign language dictionary.
Gallaudet University, located in Washington, D.C, was the first school for the advanced education of the deaf and hard-of-hearing in the world, and is still the world's only university in which all programs and services are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students.