An Interview with Blane A. Trautwein: Training for Teachers to work with the Hearing Impaired

Aug 26, 2020 by

Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences (Emphasis in Deaf Education)  < Texas Woman's University

1) Dr. Trautwein, first of all can you tell us a bit about yourself, your education and experience?

I am a teacher for children with hearing loss and a former principal of Sunshine Cottage in San Antonio.  I have an undergraduate degree in deaf education, a graduate degree in administration, and a doctorate in educational leadership.  I have been in the field since 1987; as a professor, I continue to work with kids who are deaf/hard of hearing (one of the highlights of each week) in addition to preparing future teaching professionals.

2) What first got you interested in working with hearing impaired individuals?

I never thought that I would be an educator.  During a summer high school camp, however, I met an individual with hearing loss.  After meeting him, he told me that his voice sounded different because he had a hearing loss and read lips.  I was so impressed by him; he told me that he couldn’t always tell what a person looked like but could tell you what they said.  This really resonated with me….what a different way to approach life.

3) Now, tell us about your program in ” Deaf Education and Hearing Science” at the University of Texas Health Science Center.

The Deaf Education and Hearing Science (DEHS) Program prepares individuals at the graduate level to work with children who are deaf/hard of hearing using listening and spoken language.  This approach taps into advancements in hearing technology which allow most children with hearing loss the opportunity to gain oral language skills similar to those of their peers without the use of sign language. 

4) You seem to be affiliated with the Department of Otolaryngology- Now, for our readers- what exactly does that word mean?

Otolaryngology  refers to working medically with issues pertaining to hearing and voice.  We are unique as a teacher preparation program to be part of a School of Medicine.  The idea is the combination of current medical advances (cochlear implants) and the habilitation necessary to make an impact in a child’s life.

5) Now, tell us about incentives- scholarships and the like.

We currently are the recipients of a personnel preparation grant from the Department of Education.  This means that accepted student receive FULL tuition and fee coverage.  We also have additional scholarship support available for accepted students who may need to complete pre-requisite coursework.  DEHS students also have the opportunity to work during their studies at our main practicum school.  Four-five students from each cohort are selected; this allows students needing to relocate additional financial resources during their studies.

6) I personally know the job market is excellent- but what is it like in Texas in your back yard?

You are so correct!  The need for teachers of the deaf is great across the United States!  Texas is no exception.  Graduates of the DEHS Program are in San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Laredo, Austin.  They are also in Iowa, Florida, Virginia, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and even Hawaii!

7) How many courses are required and what is the degree or certification?

The DEHS Program is a six-semester program which begins during latter part of May each year.  There is a total of 45 hours required.  Students earn a Masters of Deaf Education and Hearing Science degree and are eligible for certification in Texas.

8) What have I neglected to ask?

What makes the DEHS Program different is that all professors are still active practitioners working with kids who are deaf/hard of hearing.  Students have LOTS of practicum experiences working with professors and kids!

9) Where can interested individuals get more information-? Is there a web site? And is it ” accessible” ( I seem to be getting that word more and more of recent date).

The DEHS web site is:

The site is readable with no audio.

Interested individuals can also send me an email or call:

I LOVE to speak with potential students!  My last name is hard so just ask for Blane.

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