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Who is the Deaf Learner?

photo of diverse group of individualsFor many learners who are deaf or hard of hearing, accommodations in traditional postsecondary settings are effective means to achieve postsecondary goals.  

For others, referred to here as Deaf Learners (DL), there exists a difficulty entering, persisting and succeeding in traditional post-secondary settings.  From examining past research, it appears there are three categories of learners who are deaf or hard of hearing (dhh) and experience barriers.

Group 1 –Those who cannot access postsecondary programs.  Eighteen-point-five percent of dhh individuals ages 21-64 lack a high school diploma or equivalent to enroll in a postsecondary program (Erickson, 2014). 

Group 2 – Those who do not persist in postsecondary programs.  Seventy-nine percent of students who are dhh begin their post-secondary academic careers taking developmental courses (Bochner & Walter, 2005). Seventy to seventy-five percent of students who are dhh who enroll in postsecondary programs do not complete a two or four year degree (Newman, 2011).

Group 3 –Those who do not succeed in postsecondary programs.  Eighty-four-point-two percent of adults who are dhh ages 21-64 do not have a BA degree or higher (Erickson, 2014)