María Rosa Lissi, is a professor in the Psychology Department at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC). She has a Master’s degree in Deaf Education from Lamar University (Texas, U.S.A), and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from The University of Texas. Her research interests include literacy and language learning in deaf education. She is the Director of LECSOR Lab at UC, which houses research projects connected to language, education and Deaf Culture.
Deaf education in Chile involves conflicting views of what it means to be deaf and what are the specific needs of deaf students. Although society seems to be more aware of the importance of sign language for deaf people, the public educational system promotes “inclusion”, mainly understood as the right of every student to attend a regular school. Many special schools for deaf students have closed in the past few years.
The good news is that there is a small group of young deaf adults with college degrees, who have become interested in research and are beginning to work, together with hearing researchers, to conform intercultural, bilingual research teams. We see this as a sign that things can began to improve in Chilean deaf education.
This presentation will present the challenges faced by deaf education in Chile, and discuss recent initiatives that allow as to think of a better future.