Date of Award

Spring 5-13-2022

Document Type


First Advisor

Kirk VanGilder

Second Advisor

Maribel Gárate-Estes

Third Advisor

Oscar Ocuto


This capstone evaluates the barriers to quality education that exist in deaf/hard-of-hearing mainstream programs by evaluating three key factors. First, the presence of manually coded English systems (MCEs) in mainstream programs will be discussed along with the history that led up to their creation. Second, lEPs (Individualized Education Programs), 504 plans, and language policies enforced by school districts are treated as one factor. They will be discussed in the same section because of their overlapping natures as they are inextricably related to the classroom environment and acquiring the right accommodations in school. Lastly, the home language environment and the vital nature of language acquisition in the home will be discussed. A review of pre-existing research and data in the field of deaf education in the United States was used to explore the impact of these barriers in the broad sense. With a more focused scope, the Imperial Valley School district in California will be used as an illustrative example of how problems not only manifest, but may also be resolved, along with the appropriate resources and contact information. Solutions and resources specific to this district will be provided in examples of infographics that demonstrate the practical use of the data synthesized in this capstone. The resulting model infographics will outline the best ways for parents of deaf/hard-of-hearing children to advocate for their student in the Imperial Valley school district as well as how they can support the lifelong growth and development of their child at home.



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