UC grad uses degree to encourage equality for those who are deaf and have special needs

The next second, moment, day, or year is never guaranteed in life. In the spirit of limited time, the matter of making life worthwhile becomes much more relevant. Time is a relative and finite resource, and it's our responsibility to provide a quality life for ourselves and the others surrounding us while we have the opportunity. 

Cheryl Moses, a graduate of the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH), previously called the College of Education and Home Economics, has fulfilled this idea throughout her career as an educator for the deaf and disabled. Moses first gained an interest in working as a deaf educator during her formative years in school, where she realized the significance of being the person who took charge of guiding students who may not have received it otherwise. 

Cheryl Moses | Phot Credit: Cheryl Moses

Moses began her career at a New York public school, providing knowledge for students whose needs weren't met by standard educational practices. Her first job within the field, were Moses instructed deaf students, taught her a valuable lesson about the importance of providing a quality atmosphere for her students. During her first experiences in education, Moses realized that the job wasn't just about learning but about her responsibility to interact with and become close to the students and their families.  

After teaching for a year in New York, Moses moved to Tennessee, where she would spend the remainder of her 39-year career. She shortly began a job as an elementary school teacher, eventually transitioning through positions within several school districts. She also served as an educational diagnostician and a district liaison to students enrolled in a deaf cooperative. 

During her tenure in teaching, Moses spent portions of her time going back to school to build upon her abilities to interact with students and communicate using American Sign Language (ASL). Additional years in school and obtaining her master's degree allowed Cheryl to commit herself to the principles of her work that would allow her to use the necessary method to meet the needs of students.

One of Moses most personally impactful jobs came later in her career once she had become experienced with assisting students with a learning disadvantage. She began working for Hospital Homebound as a teacher, an educational program that provides teachers for students who are too physically or emotionally ill to attend in-person school. Moses commonly taught children with terminal cancer, severe burns, and those afflicted with various syndromes. In some instances, Moses would personally deal with the realities of connecting with potential terminally ill students.  

Going to [your own student's] funerals takes a lot out of you. You still have to go to work [and carry on as normal].

Cheryl Moses

photo of cheryl moses and her husband

Cheryl Moses and her husband | Photo Credit: Cheryl Moses

"Doing that job taught me that life is precious."

Moses noted that the job was not for the faint of heart, that the duty of caring for and educating these children is meant for those who have a passion for the work. Moses' connection with her students resulted from her desire to make them as independent as possible. Her overarching goal was to provide the opportunity for her students to work past their afflictions, regardless of how much work might have required.

Moses cites her education degree from the University of Cincinnati (UC) to be a pivotal stepping-stone toward her career of helping students. The deaf education program, which was challenging for the 13 students in class with Moses', pushed her toward creating change in the deaf community. 

"[When I was there, UC] was one of the top Deaf education schools in the country. That program gave me a foundation that followed me until I retired." 

Having retired in 2016, Moses concluded a career of selfless devotion toward improving the lives of the country's youth. When asked what motivated Moses in her career that is often faced with disheartening realities, she strongly believes that everyone, despite their circumstances deserves to be treated equally. Cheryl, and her passion for helping students, was a personal calling that she was destined to fulfill. 

I had done the right thing for the right reason.

Cheryl Moses

The College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services (CECH) is proud to begin its ongoing diversity awareness campaign, "BE Historic," with Black History Month, highlighting notable alumni making a change in their respective fields.

Featured image at the top by Pixabay

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By Luke Bisesi

CECH Marketing Student Worker, Department of Journalism, College of Arts and Science

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