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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Exploring considerations for the learner, family, and school in the education of students who are deaf or hard of hearing with disabilities Kwon, Eun Young


This dissertation utilized four consecutive studies to examine considerations in the education of students who are deaf and hard of hearing (d/Dhh) with disabilities to gain a better understanding of how to effectively support the learners, their families, and their schools. First, a case study of a 9-year-old deaf child with autism from an immigrant family was conducted to understand the educational experiences of d/Dhh learners with disabilities and to form a foundation for future research. In Study 1, the perspectives of parents and teachers are explored regarding educational eligibility, placement, and intervention. Study 2 examines language and communication factors reported by administrators in educational decision-making and documentation for the case study. Themes are reported across the learner, partners (i.e., parents, educators, peers), and environment based on the Tri-Focus framework (Siegel-Causey & Bashinski, 1997). It is recommended educators implement culturally and linguistically responsive practices in collaboration with parents. Employing a non-concurrent multiple baseline design, Study 3 investigates the effects of reading social stories with American Sign Language vocabulary to increase social interaction between d/Dhh students with autism and their peers across three general education classrooms. The frequency of communicative social behaviors and the duration of social engagement at lunchtime and recess were recorded. The results do not show an immediate effect of the intervention across all participants, although teachers reported the social validity of the intervention as significant. Implications for promoting social inclusion of d/Dhh students with autism in general education classrooms are discussed. Study 4 was conducted to explore practices and considerations in the education of d/Dhh students with disabilities in British Columbia from the educators’ perspective through an online survey and focus group interviews. Findings from the previous studies provided the groundwork for the survey. Results indicate that equitable services should be delivered according to the needs of students, not by the categorical labels of disabilities. Recommendations are made on how strengths-based approaches can be practiced across the whole learning process including assessment, planning and placement, and intervention. Together, these studies provide theoretical and practical implications for the field as well as an empirical basis for researchers.

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