Studies documenting Deaf and hard of hearing individuals' successful mastery of English are severely limited. It is hoped that this pilot-like study will set the foundation for future research by examing the profiles of successful Deaf and hard of hearing individuals who pursue English as a career choice. Qualitative methods were used to evoke responses regarding five aspects of Deaf and hard of hearing individuals' lives, including deafness, communication, family, school, and work. The ten participants came from Deaf residential schools, Gallaudet, and N.T.I.D., and represented a range of experiences and background. This study found that participants had parents who were highly supportive. They also described English as "clicking" for them through structure in language learning. There was also a "specialness" associated with being a Deaf English major and/or teacher. However, this specialness was both negative and positive. Future research is recommended in this area. Positive benefits of such research are better attitudes among professionals in the education of Deaf and hard of hearing students and better understanding of how Deaf individuals learn English.

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Master of Science of Secondary Education of Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (NTID)


Foster, Susan

Advisor/Committee Member

Bateman, Gerald


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