Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2017

Document Type


First Advisor

Caroline M. Kobek Pezzarossi

Second Advisor

Deborah Schooler


Recognizing the attitudes and activities of therapists working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing clients is necessary in order to address any gaps in training. Twenty-nine therapists were recruited from all over the United States to take part in an online survey asking about their attitudes towards addiction, Deaf people, and training. The hearing status of the 29 participants were self-identified as Hearing (n=16), Deaf (n=10), and Hard of Hearing (n=3). Of the 29 therapists, 11 had training specific towards substance abuse, Hearing (n=4), Deaf (n= 6), and Hard of Hearing (n= 1). These 29 therapists were presented with three vignettes where they were asked to provide a treatment plan and what they would change about their plan if they knew the client was Deaf. After assessing the responses of the 29 therapists when presented with the vignettes, the patterns within their responses were comparatively analyzed for similarities, differences, and change in treatment. Overwhelmingly the change offered with Deaf clients was referral to either outpatient or inpatient specialist. Our question is to who? These patterns emphasize the increasing need for support services to improve the quality of care for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals with substance abuse disorders by providing linguistic and cultural background training to increase awareness locally and provide for local access to treatment.



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