Hearing the roar of the crowd after throwing a game winning touchdown pass, sinking a buzzer beating three pointer, or hitting a walk off home run are some of the best sensory feelings in sports. But jumping around, high fiving teammates, and seeing the pumped up wide smiles of the fans and teammates during those moments is no less exciting, and hearing impaired athletes can also find themselves enjoying the most thrilling moments their sport has to offer.
Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. is one school which offers the chance for hearing impaired student athletes to get a great education while continuing to play the sports they love. Since many campus visits are shelved due to the ongoing pandemic, GMTM provided an opportunity for high schoolers to learn more about the Bison athletics, as well as get more information about the academic majors and minors offered at the university.
The university offers several scholarships for academic excellence, such as the President’s Distinguished Honors package, and the Provost’s Excellence offering—like with the vast majority of universities, it behooves the young person to focus on their studies before and during college in order to reap this financial benefit.
Over and above Gallaudet’s offerings, there are a host of other scholarships students with hard of hearing conditions can pursue regardless of where they decide to go to school. There are certain forms of aid that target students with specific type of hearing difficulties, such as the George H. Nofer Scholarship, which is aimed at graduate students who have a pre-lingual bilateral hearing impairment. Additionally, the Nofer scholarship, and others, also have other pre-requisites based on field of study. The Maude Winkler Scholarship Program is geared toward hearing impaired students who are pursuing a degree in a scientific field of study, such a biological science, physical science or engineering.
Additionally, the National Football League and EarQ, a company which looks to connect individuals with hearing needs to the right medical experts, have partnered together in recent years to improve the well being of hearing impaired student athletes. They have teamed up to provide partial scholarships to students in this category. Todd Honas received the first scholarship in the program, and had a relentless attitude toward tackling his personal challenges.
“Even though I battled against an array of problems, I didn’t let those problems define me,” Honas said. “Whether we like it or not, we will all face adversity, but it can be overcome with courage and relentless pursuit.” Via EARQ.com
However, just because a student athlete may not have the ability to hear does not mean they need to attend a college or play on a team that is specifically geared to the hearing impaired. One of the most inspirational examples of this scenario is the story of former NFL player Derrick Coleman, who won a Super Bowl with the Seattle Seahawks in February 2014.
Before reaching the pros, Coleman was a talented running back for the UCLA Bruins from 2008-2011. Without all the verbal communicative advantages that most major college football players have, Coleman still rushed for 11 touchdowns in 14 games in the 2011 season, proving that persistence and dedication are powerful tools in overcoming even the most difficult of hurdles.
"Everybody has some sort of problem. Some people can't see. Some people can't hear right. It's up to you whether you're going to overcome that problem." Via ESPN.com