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September 3, 2004

Deaf students on rise

From: Oklahoma Daily, OK - Sep 3, 2004

OU is working to utilize interpreters for deaf students.

Courtney Crawford - Daily Staff Writer
September 03, 2004

The enrollment of deaf students using interpreters has doubled this year, according to the Office of Disability Services. Suzette Dyer, director of the Office of Disability Services, reports that there are currently eight deaf and hearing impaired students enrolled this fall who use the interpreting services.

OU hired more interpreters this year to assist all students needing the service. There are currently seven interpreters working on campus with one on the staff full-time.

Alicia Dobry, full-time staff interpreter and the newly hired coordinator for the Office of Disability Services, has been at OU for more than 12 years.

"I believe the increase in deaf students is due to other students spreading the word that deaf students can succeed in a university setting," Dobry said. "It is exciting but time-consuming. Placing interpreters in all the different classes for the deaf students is very challenging. At this point, everything seems to be working smoothly."

There has also been a rise in the interpreting profession, which came after state legislators passed a law requiring all public schools to have certified interpreters, she said.

"Because of this, all the certified interpreters in the state of Oklahoma are extremely busy," Dobry said.

Daniel Martin, a private practice interpreter, came to OU three years ago with the impression that he might get a chance to rub shoulders with the athletes.

"As I became acclimated to the campus environment, my heart was set on our students who are really rare," Martin said.

Kyle Dacus, electrical engineering junior, is another student who uses the interpreting services.

"I would like to see more deaf students join so maybe I'd have some classes with them," Dacus said.

Lindsay Boilla, visual communications senior, uses interpreters for all of her classes. She is also Miss Deaf Oklahoma 2004-2005.

"OU has become a friendly place for all people of different backgrounds," Boilla said. "It's so much easier to share something when there is someone like me so I'm not alone."

© 2004 The Oklahoma Daily, Student Media at The University of Oklahoma. All rights reserved.