Critical Needs of Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: A Public Input Summary

In 2013, the Clerc Center published the "Critical Needs of Students Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: A Public Input Summary." This summary provides an in-depth summary on the barriers that deaf and hard of hearing children and their families encounter as they navigate their academic journey.

Results are compiled from over 1,400 comments collected from 775 respondents broad in geographic, affiliation, and linguistic diversity. Of the 775 respondents, 85 percent reported either having or working with deaf and hard of hearing children from these traditionally underserved groups: those who come from rural areas, who are from non-English speaking homes, who may have secondary disabilities, who are from racial/ethnic minority populations, and/or who are struggling academically.  Analyses identified four overarching barriers: (1) Knowledge and education of caregivers, professionals, and the general public; (2) Collaborative efforts; (3) Qualified professionals and services; (4) Meeting the needs of the student within the school system; and (5) The child's self-development.  Each of these barriers also reflected the global need to address needs in Language and Communication, Resources, Social Concerns, and Qualified Direct Service Personnel.

"These findings make a powerful contribution to the national conversation on deaf education," said Ed Bosso, vice president of the Clerc Center. "This document gives us a pulse on deaf education, as reported by parents, educators, administrators, service professionals, all of whom the Clerc Center serves. This will help the Clerc Center identify and design high impact strategies to address them."

Download Critical Needs of Students Who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing: A Public Input Summary  (PDF) 

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