Hunter College will be able to prepare more people to teach children who are severely/multiply disabled and have auditory and visual impairments, thanks to a four-year $800,000 grant brought in by Rosanne K. Silberman, professor of special education. The grant is from the U.S. Department of Education.
“There is a severe shortage of qualified teachers in this field, particularly in the area of deaf-blindness,” explains Silberman, “and this grant will help us increase the supply of these much-needed teachers.”
Hunter is one of only six colleges in the country—and the only college within CUNY and SUNY—that has a program to train teachers in the area of deaf-blindness.
The grant will provide tuition waivers and stipends to highly qualified candidates seeking to enter the Hunter master’s degree program. Students who complete the program earn an MSEd and are qualified to become special education teachers with a specialty in severe disabilities including deaf-blindness.
“I’m really excited about this grant,” says Silberman. “It will help students who might not have been able to afford a graduate education earn a degree and build a rewarding career in a much-needed field. In turn, these Hunter graduate students will be able to provide deaf-blind children and youth with severe disabilities, including deaf-blindness, with a superior education that will enhance their quality of life.”
Silberman estimates that the grant will aid more than 40 graduate students over four years.