• July 20, 2019

Former MSU student pursing degree in deaf studies - The Trail Blazer: News

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Former MSU student pursing degree in deaf studies

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Posted: Saturday, April 20, 2019 11:08 pm

A previous Morehead State student’s major at Eastern Kentucky University hits close to home. 

Danielle Burton, who is now a Deaf Studies major at EKU, was born completely blind and partially deaf due to a lack of oxygen to her brain during birth, and possibly due to Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a, disease characterized by progressive hearing loss.   

“I was never taught deaf-blind specific skills and grew up hearing blind even though I qualified for deaf-blind services my whole life,” said Burton.  

Burton sought help with deaf-blind training such as American Sign Language and tactile signing after her three years at MSU from the Helen Keller National Center in Sands Point, New York.  

 Tactile signing is a method used by many deaf-blind people which involves signing on top of someone’s hand to feel their sign and movements. 

Burton left MSU in 2016 in search of a school where she could be fully immersed in ASL. While there are colleges for students who are deaf or blind, she did not want to be far from her home in Elliott County.  

“So, my former teacher of the blind suggested looking into EKU’s ASL department. I went out on a limb, so to speak, and applied, and now I’m in ASL level 201 which is ASL III,” Burton said. 

Burton plans to complete her deaf studies degree then go to the University of Kentucky to get a certification as a teacher of the blind to later teach in a public school as an itinerant teacher of blind children. 

“I don’t consider deaf-blindness as a disability,” Burton said. 

Outside of her classes, Burton likes to rock climb, run, read and find new places on a GPS.  

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