Date of Award

Winter 12-14-2019

Document Type


First Advisor

Thomas Horejs

Second Advisor

Jerri Lyn Dorminy

Third Advisor

Julie Fennell


The experiences a student has in school influences the development of identity, self-worth, and perspective of the world into adulthood. There are numerous barriers to retaining clear access to information with ease in conventional educational settings such as public education; especially for those with hearing loss. Mainstream settings, where deaf and hard-of-hearing (D/HH) students are often the only one with hearing loss in the school, coupled with the journey of discovering their identity, can take a toll on D/HH students. This qualitative study observes and analyzes the formative experiences of D/HH students navigating their personal mainstream educational settings. Five interviews collected personal experiences within varied mainstream educational backgrounds (either D/HH student in a regular classroom, with or without support services, or a student in a separate contained classroom) revealed shared experiences. Common barriers identified were identity formation, accommodations, and academic success. These barriers resulted in lack of access, isolation, and low self-esteem and poor self-perception. Studying holistic development of D/HH students in the mainstream should be more extensively researched, for the purpose of bettering and furthering the educational experiences of D/HH students.



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