Student shares experiences from deaf perspective

Jeremy Neiderer-Evans shares his experiences as a deaf man with the Multicultural Student Leadership Association.

Jeremy Neiderer-Evans presented about Deaf culture during the Multicultural Student Leadership Association’s November event

Jeremy Neiderer-Evans came to Dakota County Technical College to learn about photography. He had looked at other schools, but DCTC had the type of programming he wanted.

Neiderer-Evans said his sister, who is a photographer, inspired him to learn about photography. Additionally, he thought a photography degree would complement a previous degree he earned in Design and Visual Communication through St. Paul College.

A Deaf man, Neiderer-Evans first choice was St. Paul College because it has a variety of resources for the Deaf community. However, the program didn’t fit his needs and so he started looking at others in the metro area. His search brought him to DCTC.

Neiderer-Evans, who will graduate in May, said he has had a good experience at DCTC. This year, he is the only Deaf students on campus, and in the past there have only been a few others. Such few numbers mean there aren’t many dedicated services for Deaf students. However, he said he’s been able to use a lot of accommodations to ensure his success as a student.

“There are a lot of positives here,” said Neiderer-Evans.

While there are positives, Neiderer-Evans said there are things that could be done to make the campus friendlier for the Deaf community. So he’s taken the initiative to start the conversation.

Recently, Neiderer-Evans had the opportunity to share his perspective with the Multi-Cultural Student Leadership Association during their monthly event. The event drew more than 40 people.


MSLA advisor Harold Torrence said Jeremy’s presentation opened a dialog on campus about Deaf culture.

“Students and staff were able to gain a different perspective through Jeremy’s story,” said Torrence.

While Neiderer-Evans only has one semester left on campus, he hopes to keep the dialog going by starting an American Sign Language (ASL) Club. The focus of the club will be to teach ASL and raise community awareness through activities and experiences. He’s looking for people interested in helping start the club.

Students who want to be involved should fill out the form in front of Student Life. Anyone with questions can email Jeremy Neiderer-Evans at

A little more about Jeremy

Neiderer-Evans lost his hearing at 18 months. He grew up in Minnesota with a hearing family including his parents and an older sister.  He started learning sign language through Early Childhood Development classes in Anoka. He then attended Hoover Elementary School, a hearing school. During that time, he continued to learn sign language while also taking speech classes to learn how to speak with his voice.20161102_151934

“I’m in both worlds, hearing and deaf, I usually use my voice with sign language at the same time,” said Neiderer-Evans.

He attended Coon Rapids High School, where he was part of the deaf program. He also participated in traditional classes.

Presently, Neiderer-Evans lives in Inver Grove Heights with his husband, who is an interpreter for video relay service. Additionally, he has a service dog named Yogi for hearing assistance.

In his spare time, Neiderer-Evans enjoys sign language, drawing buildings, video games and driving around town.