A Number Of Firsts In Science Education With Karen Sadler, Ph.D., Part I
A Number of Firsts In Science Education With Karen Sadler, Ph.D., Part I
By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
Originally published: NCRA JCR, Beyond The Comfort Zone, March 2010
Monette: The October e-mail from Karen Sadler began, “Hi, Monette. I hope you remember me. A few years ago I asked you about court reporters being used for Deaf people in educational environments. I want to let you know that I finished my work and graduated with a Ph.D. in science education. I thought you might be interested in my research.
“The 2003 to 2009 study related the work of court reporters compared to interpreters (court reporters did so much better than interpreters). It’s been a long haul for me, with a lot of obstacles.
“I’m teaching sciences at two universities right now, both online and classroom.
“Your name is in my (doctoral) references, and you helped significantly with understanding what court reporters do. Basically, they did a phenomenal job, and the only mistakes were due to science words not recognized by the dictionary in the software. … You taught me things I didn’t know about court reporters. I also asked you about software programs that court reporters use.”
Karen and I, in real-time, stepped back into our email friendship.
As we wrote, she was teaching multiple science courses, reviewing homework, and then grading final exams. I asked Karen Sadler to share her personal story.
Court reporters and CART captioners currently sharing – and those desiring to provide – equal access accommodations – with deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in an academic setting or work environment or social gathering (yes, in all settings) – have much to learn from Dr. Karen Sadler.
I am honored to introduce you to Karen L. Sadler, Ph.D.
“I was born in Salt Lake City severely hard of hearing, in 1956. But my parents did not ‘discover’ it until I was 3 years old, when my mom noticed I was not turning around when she rang a bell behind me. So that started all the testing and speech therapy, and what not that all HOH, hard of hearing, and Deaf children go through.
I am legally deaf. I have no hearing in my right ear, and have an over 90-110 db (decibel) loss in my left ear, in most tones, but especially tones that encompass the human voice.
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area in California where I went to a public school because there were no schools for the Deaf close enough that my mother felt comfortable sending me to. I had a great family, with two sisters. They were all musical, so I grew up with the piano constantly playing. I learned to understand music and play several instruments myself.
The schools were never comfortable having a deaf student in their classes, so I was constantly pulled out of class to take IQ tests. They thought they could test me out of the system and put me into a school for the mentally retarded.
This happened for three years, until I finally said something to my parents who put a stop to all this. My parents eventually received an apology from the district on this.
I received my first hearing aid at 13. It was amazing what I had missed. It was the first time I heard a bird, and I remember my mom crying when I said something about the bird making noise. I graduated with good grades and attended Brigham Young University. There I ran into problems prevalent at all universities: They wouldn’t let me major in what I wanted and kept shuttling me around. After four years I gave up.
I met my husband at college. We moved to Pittsburgh, PA, when he graduated where we raised three great children. After 12 years I decided I had to get a degree or get stuck in menial jobs all my life. I enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh.
My hearing loss intensified as I matured, but I lost almost all of it by 1991 and had a cochlear implant which failed. So I had to learn ASL, American Sign Language, to be able to get information in school.
I used ASL through my bachelor’s degree and my master’s degree. When I started my Ph.D. work, I started using CART personnel in my classrooms more often.
I set a number of ‘firsts’ graduating with a BS in Neuroscience and getting accepted to the Center for Neuroscience at the University of Pittsburgh for graduate work.
One of my advisors noticed, in her classes, the difference between what I was ‘getting’ with CART services versus what I would ‘get’ from my interpreters. She said that half the time I looked totally confused with interpreters, swinging my head around trying to get info from lipreading other students and (lipreading) my advisor who was teaching the class; I would look at the board, and watch my interpreters to get what I could out of them.
I often had to work much harder than everyone else, in order to receive only part of the info. My advisor suggested that I look into this as a research topic. It hadn’t been done, especially in the sciences or math, which is significantly different than topics like history … the vocabulary and concepts are a lot harder to convey.
I finished my Ph.D. in science education in 2009.
Currently, I work at several universities teaching a variety of sciences to hearing students, which I enjoy thoroughly.
So now, the Deaf person is teaching eight classes on different sciences.
I teach all hearing students … nursing students, anatomy/physiology, environmental health, meteorology, geology, and I’ve taught physics, chemistry, and cell biology labs.”
Karen Sadler’s e-mails contain the footer, “Ethical axioms are found and tested not very differently from the axioms of science. Truth is what stands the test of experience. ~Albert Einstein.”
Part II will share the results of Karen Sadler’s Ph.D. studies.
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Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal, CART Captioner, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist
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About Monette Benoit: As a 30+ year court reporter, CART captioner, author of NCRA and State test-prep material, instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and 225-homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands challenges many adults face in our industry.
In 1993, she began to CART caption to a large screen for a Deaf mass, San Antonio, Texas. Wonderful opportunities then presented from Big D, Little D, Oral Deaf, HOH consumers -each with special moments.
Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART captioners, students, instructors. She has helped to create new court reporting training programs, worked with federal grants, and assisted instructors in developing curriculum for both in-class and at-home students.
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Monette’s Musings is an informative, motivational, and funny blog for busy professionals and students who seek to create their success and who seek to enjoy this special path.