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Carl B. Williams, PhD

Professor of Education
Flagler College
St. Augustine, Florida

*All of the information gathered throughout the interview will prove beneficial for a variety of individuals in the special education field. This interview provided a different perspective from a professor of Deaf Education who is currently educating potential educators for working with students with deafness and additional disabilities.  All of the information Dr. Williams provided in the interview will greatly serve its purpose as a resource for all involved in this field. A few statements in the interview are profound and critical parts of the puzzle with ensuring the success of students with MDD.*

•    “First and foremost, I would like to reiterate that professionals in the field should not forget the I in IEP which means individualized.” Dr. Williams could not have said it any better. It is essential for professionals to understand that every aspect of the curriculum and planning must be individualized in order to effectively meet each student’s needs. It is only when planning is individualized, can success truly be accomplished.

•    “The advice I would suggest for educators to adopt into the classroom for teaching students with MDD is to embrace hands-on approaches and have the student’s become kinesthetically involved. This can be done through the action of role-playing and exposing the students to authentic situations.”  Throughout the interview and discussion on the strategies for students with MDD, Dr. Williams could not reiterate enough the importance of using real-life examples and manipulation in educating students with MDD. Research has indicated that students learn best through manipulation and through the use of the senses. I also liked how Dr. Williams mentioned that exposing students to authentic situations is crucial. This action is not done often in the classroom and will only benefit students when exiting the system and entering the real-world.

•    “Often times, educators and professionals tend to look at Deafness as the primary disability and overlook the additional disability. This action may hinder the student from achievement even more so.” Before this interview, this concept did not even enter my mind. The more Dr. Williams and I discussed about this topic, the more I believe it to be true. The more strategies that can be implemented for assistance with the additional disability, the better off the students are when placed in a variety of environments.

•    “Team collaboration is CRUCIAL for the success of any student in the education system, but team –planning is essential in the special education field. It is also important to ensure that the parent/guardian is involved in this process.” Team-planning and cooperation is absolutely a key component in the success for all students. I liked how Dr. Williams emphasized the importance of parental involvement in this process. The research has indicated that parental involvement has produced positive outcomes (increase in motivation for the student) in the student’s academic success. Having this type of support is crucial, as is, having strong team support in this field.