Here at the St. Joseph School for the Deaf, students are not taught sign language. Expectations for students, including Michael during his time, are very high at St. Joseph’s, and instead are taught how to lip read, for lip reading drills creates a memory of speech, for those individuals who have never heard it.
After graduating from St. Joseph’s, instead of moving back to South Carolina, Michael decided to stay in St. Louis, to stay with Carol and Jim Spehr, while attending Chaminade Preparatory College. While living with the Speer family, Michael underwent the process of “mainstreaming.” Upon graduating from Chaminade, he attended the University of South Carolina Honors College, where he became its first deaf student. During his junior year, Michael traveled to China for a six-week exchange program.