Friday, May 02, 2008

Summary on Social and Identity Issues Re: AG Bell participants

Here is the summary of findings showing the outcomes on how former mainstreamed students who belong to AG Bell feel about identity and social issues when experiencing inclusion education.

Inclusive Education and Personal Development by Irene K. Leigh

Thirty-four graduated participants who belonged to AG Bell and Oral Hearing Impaired Section (OHIS) took the questionnaire.

16 = deaf

12 = hearing-impaired

4 = HoH

1 = oral then deaf

1 = hearing

50% of them change their label when they were in school

School background:

20 out of 34 = public school

13 = private

1 = Deaf school

5 reported nonsupportive academic or social environment

-labeled as defective

-made to feel “different”

-can’t understand what was said in class

The rest felt more supportive because of teachers who provided attention and friendly social environments that have structured school settings.

How does a school’s experience affected one’s identity?

19 = (+) positive

13 = (-) negative

(+) = overcome disability, accepting oneself as deaf, functionally comfortably in hearing world, good self-esteem

(-) = wrestling with the idea deaf people cannot do what they want, feelings of insecurity, dependency or self consciousness, perceptions of isolation and catering to the dominant group, she because of past rough experiences, lower self-confidence, no Deaf peers making it hard to compare

Some saw relationship with hearing peers as comfortably but never completely relaxed in contrast to socializing with Deaf peers.

Views about deaf:

8 felt (-) negative about having relationship with Deaf peers – those who were not comfortable with oral values were rejected and they rejected them.

15 felt (+) positive that Deaf were like family – no need to prove anything, having common understanding about life experiences as Deaf persons.

16 felt (-) Deaf culture was a foreign concept and thought they had negative attitudes toward hearing and oral deaf persons.

4 (+) viewed more positively

14 felt that there are advantages of Deaf culture for signing Deaf persons but felt that they are limited in terms of connections with diverse people.

13 of them had no exposure to deaf adults while in school!

Some reported that when crossing over into Deaf culture experience, some conflicts because lack of support by AG Bell members for “cultural differences.”

The bottom line is that, yes, participation in the hearing community is a powerful goal but the need for connection with some segment of Deaf community cannot be denied as a part of ongoing identity and formation and social support.

Dual identity = more positive outcomes

Moschella ( 1992) notes the significant emotional benefits that products of strictly oral environments derive from contact with deaf peers in adulthood.

Today’s concerns:

1. Lack of Deaf Role models in public education system

2. Access of Deaf community is limited

3. Misconceptions formed about Deaf Culture

No Deaf peers should grow up without contact with other Deaf peers and adults.


Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education (Vol. 4, Nbr. 3, Summer 1999) Inclusion and Personal Development by Irene W. Leigh

Educating Deaf Children Bilingually by Shawn Neal Mahshie, 1995

To see previous comments, click here.


Anonymous said...

Feel like AGbell and ASL between they tug on the rope each other to raise their goal into better education for which one understanding increase higher percent to prove of knowledge to get attention .... that my opion.


Kim said...

In a weird way I feel I can understand these kids. Being late-deafened is a lot like being oral deaf. I'm out of sync with both the hearing and Deaf culture. Here's an example-- most of the activities my hearing friends like to do on the weekends is challenging for me. They forget to look at me when they speak. They forget I need accommodations. But I'm not part of Deaf community. My ASL is still very basic. I got the gist of what you were saying in your vlog-- none of the details. My ASL will improve with time if my teacher is allowed to teach the next level of ASL next year. If not, then I'll be left in the lurch. What I'm saying is the only people I'm super comfortable with are other oral deaf and late-deafened people. Those people are the only ones who clearly understand my needs. But when I was younger, there were very, very few oral-deaf/late-deafened around. It wasn't until I got to be middle-aged (I'm now 50), that I began to meet people my age who were late-deafened. It's a very lonely road.


Ella Mae Lentz said...

Speaking of providing an environment with "plenty" of Deaf role models and peers, I believe there's something out there claiming that the critical mass for Deaf school-age children are:
1) Elementary-at least 50 Deaf peers in the whole Elementary department
2) Middle and High School combined - at least 100 peers.
Curious if any research out there mentions ideal minimum number of Deaf adult signers faculty and staff?
Thanks for sharing this report in both ASL and English. Keep them coming!

Anonymous said...

Dear Barb, thou are superb and reflecteth upon mine feelings. Just a wee bit of advice: keep your fingernails free of any contrasting colors because my eyes have a little hard time focusing on your signs and fingerspelling, smile. ; ) Carry on!