Online Program

Social participation for minorities in the deaf community

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sharonda Walker, Department of Applied Health Sciences, Pfeiffer University, Charlotte, NC
Background:  Persons with deafness and low hearing disabilities can face discrimination in social interactions, whether or not such barriers are conscious or unconscious.  Additionally, the deaf community encourages its members to learn sign language and read lips as forms of communication, but not all follow these guidelines.

Purpose: To evaluate and bring awareness to the disparities within the deaf community with a focus on minorities. The assumption that all persons with deafness or low hearing know ASL and read lips can be a barrier to the daily activities of deaf persons.

Significance: The research evaluates the challenges faced by members of the deaf community.  

Methodology: We first analyzed preliminary statistics from the 2011 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS).  Participants included 3.8% with deafness or low hearing disabilities.  Out of the 3.8%, 46.5% were female and 53.5% are male. 67% were Caucasian, 16% were Hispanic, 8% were African American, and 7% Asian American. There were significant differences based upon race and deafness on assistance with activities of daily living that informed our follow-up study of social participation with a community outreach program for persons with deafness and low hearing.

Conclusions: We identified effective areas for involving persons with deafness and low hearing in social participation, health, and employment. We describe potential policies and ways to advocate for minorities with deafness and low hearing.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics

Learning Objectives:
Describe the challenges and communication expectations faced by the deaf community. Discuss and bring awareness to the discrimination. Proactively work to educate all on deaf community.

Keyword(s): Disabilities, Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conducted and will report all aspects of this study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.