Deaf and hard-of-hearing students find glitch in suspected gunman notifications

Andrew Lopez

Deaf and hard-of-hearing students found a slight glitch in the system when it came to getting the emergency notification regarding the suspected gunman on campus Sept. 27.

“The emergency notification system worked well except that I didn’t get the emergency text,” said senior Kailyn Aaron-Lozano, referring to the text message she was supposed to have received instead of the phone call other students received.

Aaron-Lozano said she learned about the alert from her hearing friends who had received the voicemail, and from Facebook.

“I’m sure they sent out an e-mail, but I wouldn’t check it till I get home. So the idea is good to have a texting system, but I wish it would have gone out sooner than later,” Aaron-Lozano said.

Jim Macaluso, associate director for CSUN’s National Center on Deafness, said deaf or hard-of-hearing students have multiple options when it comes to receiving emergency notifications.

Macaluso said he received the emergency notification via e-mail, video phone and text message.

“Deaf and hard of hearing students/employees can opt to receive notifications via email, SMS messaging and/or phone,” Macaluso said in an email interview. “The extent of the notification is contingent upon each (deaf/hard-of-hearing) individuals’ settings as configured via their CSUN portal.”

CSUN’s deaf studies department has the largest nationwide enrollment of deaf and hard-of-hearing students at a mainstream institution, according to its website.

The department is one of two institutions in the nation to offer a comprehensive deaf studies program.

Nageena Ahmadzai, also a deaf student at CSUN, said she received emergency emails and also learned about the situation from other students.

“To me it’s enough because my CSUN email is linked to my phone,” Ahmadzai said in an email interview.

She said the confusion came when she was not aware of what was going on at the Oviatt Library when it was being blocked off.

Aaron-Lozano and Ahmadzai were informed about the Oviatt situation, though Aaron-Lozano wishes the school would have been the one to do it.

“(It’s) just unfortunate to find out what was happening from my friends around me and on Facebook,” Aaron-Lozano said.