This is true. Gallaudet has become a symbol to the deaf world, and its successes and failures are closely monitored. "They want to show there's no difference between them and hearing teams," Klees says. "It's really important to them to prove that."
As Gallaudet is more a home to many of its students than simply a place of learning, when the time finally comes to leave, many students contrive to find ways to stay on a while longer. Silvestri has spent virtually his entire adult life there. He has been in the hearing world, but he has never been of it. "Here there's a deaf community," he says. "I feel locked into that relationship, and I don't want to lose it. I don't know what it will be like in the future. I want to stay in the deaf community."