DRMDS stands for Deaf Role Models for Deaf Students. This site is the result of two projects funded by Deakin University’s Higher Education Equity Programme (HEEP): ‘Schools and On Line: Encouraging Access to Higher Education’ (2002-2003) and ‘Deaf Mentors’ (2000-2001).
HEEP is administered by the Commonwealth Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DETYA), with additional funds contributed by the Faculty of Education. HEEP gives grants to institutions to develop projects such as this one, with the aim of increasing the diversity of students in higher education. Projects are aimed at supporting students from the equity target groups: people with disabilities, people from non-English speaking backgrounds, women in non-traditional areas of study, people from rural and isolated areas and people from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds. Funding goes to universities with a good record in student equity over the past year.
As project manager, I have continued to develop materials and information on this site. Other Deakin University personnel involved in the projects included Jenny Lee (Faculty of Arts), Caroline Coles (Video editing), David Owies (Manager Learning Services). Research assistants employed for these projects were Angela Maclean and Sandy Leane.
The initial project aimed to improve access to and the participation and success of deaf students in higher education by:
- supporting deaf students at Deakin University and local Technical and Further Education (TAFE) colleges
- documenting resources for deaf students in higher education
- publishing profiles of the academic and career achievements of Deaf adults
- introducing deaf students to deaf adults as part of a mentoring program.