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5th National Deafness Sector Summit May 2008


65 students in Years 10,11 & 12 in Qld & NSW: survey assessing ... 11 15. Qualitative results ... Life-long dream to become a teacher of the dear, My own ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: 5th National Deafness Sector Summit May 2008

5th National Deafness Sector Summit May 2008
  • Renee Punch PhD
  • Centre for Applied Studies in Deafness
  • Griffith University
  • Queensland

3 Research Studies
  • Study 1
  • Career decision-making and career barriers
    perceived by hard of hearing adolescents
    Implications for the school-to-work transition of
    mainstreamed students

  • Study 2
  • University experiences of Griffith university
    students and graduates who are deaf or hard of
  • Study 3
  • Career and workplace experiences of Griffith
    university graduates who are deaf or hard of

After school what then?
  • According to the literature (mostly U.S.)
  • Young people responsible for identifying needs
    and requesting services and accommodations
  • Higher rates of unemployment underemployment
  • Attitudinal and environmental barriers
    encountered contribute to the difficulties
    experienced by many deaf and hard of hearing
    people in gaining employment and career
  • Hearing loss perceived by young people as a
    career barrier?

Study 1 Hard of hearing adolescents
  • Mainstreamed with itinerant teacher support,
    oral-aural communication mode
  • (Power Hyde (200220032004) study found 83 of
    all students with significant permanent hearing
    loss in this setting 32 of these had profound
    hearing loss)
  • 65 students in Years 10,11 12 in Qld NSW
    survey assessing 7 career-related variables,
    including perception of career barriers
  • Comparison group of students without hearing loss
  • Interviews with 12 students

Career-related variables
  • Career Maturity
  • Career Indecision
  • Career Decision-making Self-efficacy
  • Career Decision-making Goals
  • Career Decision-making Outcome Expectations
  • Career Barriers
  • Social participation/social loneliness

Career Barriers
  • Events or conditions, within the person or in
    his or her environment, that make career progress
  • (Swanson Woitke, 1997, p. 434)
  • Anticipation or perception of barriers can have
    an important influence on career decision-making

Research questions
  • Do adolescents perceive their hearing loss as a
    potential barrier?
  • Which aspects or consequences of their hearing
    loss do they most perceive as barriers?
  • Do these perceptions lead them to limit or
    compromise their vocational goals?

Perceptions of Career Barriers (general)
  • Study difficulties 51
  • Lack of confidence 49
  • Money difficulties 45
  • Having to work while studying 42
  • Not being smart enough 37
  • Not fitting in at college/university 34
  • Lack of support from friends 26
  • Lack of support from teachers 20
  • Family difficulties 12
  • Peoples attitudes about my gender 2
  • My ethnic background 2
  • Peoples attitudes about my ethnic background
  • My gender 0

Perceptions of hearing-related barriers
  • People not understanding my hearing loss 68
  • Using the phone 51
  • My hearing loss 48
  • Talking/listening to new people 37
  • Peoples attitudes about my hearing loss 34
  • Having to work in groups 25

  • HH less paid work experience than NH
  • Avoidance of jobs with public
  • Functional implications phone, groups
  • People not understanding hearing loss
  • Peoples attitudes not expecting discrimination
  • Just leave

  • Advice and information e.g. assistive devices,
    disability services
  • Development of students skills in accessing
  • Training in assertive communication, negotiation,
    self-advocacy skills

Study 2a
  • The university experiences of Griffith University
    students and graduates who are deaf or hard of

  • Griffith University
  • 32,000 students in over 400 study programs on
  • six Campuses
  • Nathan (Brisbane)
  • Mt Gravatt (Brisbane)
  • Logan
  • Gold Coast
  • Queensland Conservatorium (Brisbane City)
  • Queensland College of Art (Brisbane City)

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The Deaf Students Support Program (DSSP)
  • Commenced in 1985 at MtGravatt CAE teacher
    training program (Des Power) NTID as a model of
    supportive program for deaf students within
    regular university
  • Supports, on average, 40 students per year in
    broad range of programs
  • Offers
  • Interpreting
  • Peer note-takers (trained evaluated by DSSP)
  • Lap-top transcription
  • Tutoring
  • Staff development programs
  • Listening systems
  • Captioning
  • Counselling
  • Services to some other universities and colleges
    in Brisbane

  • A survey with fixed-choice and open-ended
    questions about
  • Communication preferences, ethnic and cultural
  • Programs studied, years of attendance,
    experiences at university challenges,
    highlights use of DSSP services, communication

  • 257 students who had identified a hearing loss
    on their enrolment over the last 20 years.
  • 180 had some form of contact information
  • 72 completed the survey
  • 21 were current students
  • 29 recent graduates (2000 to 2005)
  • 18 attended between 1991 and 1999
  • 8 attended from 1985 to 1990

Graduation rates (N257)
  • 42 graduated
  • 25 current students
  • 2 excluded for academic reasons
  • 14 approved deferral of studies
  • 16 withdrawn
  • 2 transferred to other institutions
  • Completion rate (70) of those who could be
    expected to graduate compares favourably with
    national rates for all students and more than
    favourably with U.S. Gallaudet University and
    NTID rates for DHH students

Characteristics of the Participants (N 72)
  • 68 said that spoken English was their primary
    means of communication (called the HH Group)
  • 32 said that Auslan, or Auslan in some
    combination with spoken English or signed
    English, was their primary means of communication
    (the Deaf group in the study)
  • 60 identified primarily with hearing community
  • 14 identified with Deaf community
  • 26 reported a bicultural/bilingual identity

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Use of communication tools and DSSP support
  • (N 72)
  • __________________________________________________
  • Frequency
  • __________________________________________________
  • Interpreters 26 36
  • Manual/peer note-taking 47 65
  • Laptop computer note-taking 14 19
  • Technological aids(FM aids) 25 35
  • Other 11 15
  • None 11 15

Qualitative results
  • Asked about helpfulness of communication tools
    and support services highlights and challenges
    of time at university.
  • Responses fell into two areas
  • 1) Access to academic curriculum
  • 2) Social experiences

Social experiences
  • Two major findings
  • 1) Some feelings of social isolation and struggle
    in social and academic interactions with largely
    hearing peer group
  • In groups and studiosthere is a lot of group
    work and group discussion and I have felt quite
    isolated at times.
  • 2) Satisfying friendships and a new sense of
    belonging through their contacts with other Deaf
    and hard of hearing people
  • Friendship with many people in all areas in the
    uni, either deaf or hearing. Being able to
    broaden my network of deaf people after growing
    up in an entirely hearing world during my school
  • Meeting other deaf people not feeling so
    isolated about being deaf.

  • It was the first time in my schooling that I had
    support. Having other Deaf and hearing impaired
    students in the same course, I wasnt the only

Qualitative results- challenges
  • Trying to get my input (Qs As, comments,
    etc.) to the lecturer via interpreter is
    challenging in trying to be quick to avoid time
    delays. Sometimes, interpreters/note-takers were
    not available.
  • Hearing in a large lecture theatre. Some
    lecturers spoke indistinctly and in spite of
    sitting close to front and with aids it was
    difficult to hear. Sometimes when showing slides
    there would be no light on his/her face so it was
    difficult to lip-read

Qualitative results- highlights
  • My year at Griffith was my favourite because of
    the support provided to me (FM, note-taking,
    interpreting and social-emotional support). I
    didnt spend so much time trying to catch up on
    what I missed and so had spare time to actually
    relax and not be so tired. I also made more
    friends and was not so lonely. For once, I
    actually felt like I was intelligent rather than
    not very bright and having to study so much
    harder to understand what others understood with

  • Strong student support for wide range of
    program/degree options and for the DSSP (national
    award in 2006).

Study 2b
  • The career and workplace experiences of Griffith
    graduates who are deaf or hard of hearing
  • barriers anticipated and encountered
  • attempts to overcome barriers, solutions found to
  • need for and use of workplace accommodations

  • Fixed-choice and open-ended questions
  • work experiences since leaving university
  • employment history
  • barriers anticipated
  • barriers encountered
  • difficult workplace situations
  • solutions found
  • workplace accommodations sought or used.
  • List of 14 workplace accommodations based on
    those used in Geyer and Schroedels (1999) study
    and in a study of British employers of deaf and
    hard of hearing workers. List of 6 difficult
    workplace situations was based on those used by
    Scherich (1996) and Scherich and Mowry (1997).

  • 54 past students
  • 8 not currently in workforce

Employment sector for Deaf and HH workers () (N
Difficult workplace situations ()
Qualitative results
  • Analysis of open-ended responses
  • Range of barriers encountered
  • Many unanticipated.
  • Coded by category
  • (1) Attitudinal
  • (2) Difficulties obtaining accommodations
  • (3) Social
  • (4) Technological
  • (5) Suitability of job

  • Poor understanding or tolerance of hearing loss
    lack of promotion
  • My last boss had me in tears. He was angry
    because I didnt hear someones name. I was to
    take over my supervisors position but he changed
    his mind. He said my hearing loss was not
  • Contrast to university experience
  • Well, after being provided for so well by
    Griffith Uni, it was a huge shock entering the
    workforce and finding myself in the situation of
    having to ask and fight for the right to access
    interpreting etc. I knew there would be some
    difficulties but I never envisaged how difficult
    it would be.
  • Several reported working in supportive
  • I encounter difficulties regularly but am lucky
    that my employer generously regularly provides
    interpreters and other assistive devices

  • Use of the telephone
  • I cannot answer the phone. I cant hear it ring
    over the noise from the children and have not
    dared try to speak to anyone on the phone. I
    would have to disappear into the toilet to hear
  • Problems with FM systems
  • Inoperative loop systems
  • Lack of swift hearing aid repair
  • Noise in background
  • Need for more knowledge of technology by
    employees and employers

  • Difficulties in work-related social functions and
    interactions with co-workers
  • Difficulty with fellow staff is always an issue.
    Hard to understand at staff socials and no-one
    will fund interpreters for these, hence difficult
    to make meaningful friendships in work
    environments without super-human efforts.
  • I did not anticipate the disadvantage of missing
    out on gossip, networking opportunities, casual
    information sharing.
  • It has always been difficult socializing in
    groups during lunchtime breaks in the staff room.

Solutions found
  • Variety of strategies
  • Self-advocacy and educating others about
    deafness/hearing loss
  • Be pro-active, honest about support needs,
  • Aware of anti-discrimination laws
  • Forward planning
  • On the day it is too late to ask for support!
  • Give feedback
  • Be patient, it takes a while for people to start
    automatically thinking to put certain processes
    in place. Always praise when it happens well
    seems to stick in peoples minds.
  • Stay healthy and rested to deal with listener
    fatigue and managing work environment
  • It does take constant energy and guts and
    vigilance to be the only one in a meeting or
    conference who says I cant cope, we need to
    make some changes!

Type of organization or job
  • Some sought work in quiet environments
  • Some avoided interaction with public
  • Not working in noisy/retail environments.
  • Self employment
  • Decided to work singly for myself where I dont
    need to hear or depend on oral instructions.
  • Supportive environments - sharing duties and
  • Im fortunate I work with supportive friends and
    colleagues and when these glitches occur, I can
    usually get support
  • But not always where expected
  • While working at a deaf school, the staff did not
    accommodate for my deafness by signing and
    talking at the same time. It was isolating when I
    often couldnt follow what was happening.

Reasons for choosing occupation
  • It was apparent that, for most respondents, their
    deafness had influenced their choice of
    occupation or field
  • Largely in two ways
  • Requiring a work field or setting with a quiet
  • Expressing the desire to draw on their personal
    experience of deafness to support others who are
    deaf or hard of hearing, usually in education
  • I love working with kids and want them to see a
    Deaf person achieving personal goals. Working
    with deaf children was the easiest choice.
  • Life-long dream to become a teacher of the dear,
    My own deafness and school experience was the
    main reason why I chose the field.
  • Pragmatism
  • Realistic choice guaranteed employment - good
    pay great holidays. Good support for Deaf

  • Range of attitudinal and environmental barriers
  • Some unanticipated
  • Varied for HH and Deaf
  • Hearing loss affected participation and promotion
    in the workforce.
  • High use of interpreters by Deaf group but only
    in work situations (viz. Foster MacLeod, 2003).
  • Difficulties with the social side of work life
    isolation at work (also reported in US UK
  • Some reluctance to ask for workplace

  • Universities need to better prepare students with
    hearing loss to anticipate and deal with
    potential career and workplace barriers.
  • Postsecondary institutions should prepare deaf
    and hard of hearing students to develop the
    knowledge, skills, and confidence to obtain
    needed accommodations in their workplaces
    capacity for self- advocacy and assertiveness.

  • Further study of the impact of these and other
    strategies if deaf and hard of hearing university
    graduates in Australia are to be able to
    identify, secure, and sustain effective
    employment in their fields of professional
  • These are high status employees! Others?

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Journal articles published from the research
  • Punch, R., Hyde, M., Power, D. (2007). Career
    and workplace experiences of Australian
    university graduates who are deaf or hard of
    hearing. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf
    Education, 12 (4), 504-517.
  • Hyde, M., Punch, R., Power, D., Hartley, J.,
    Neale, J., Brennan, L. (submitted). The
    experiences of deaf and hard of hearing students
    at a Queensland university 1985-2005
  • Punch, R., Creed, P.A., Hyde, M.B. (2006).
    Career barriers perceived by hard-of-hearing
    adolescents Implications for practice from a
    mixed methods study. Journal of Deaf Studies and
    Deaf Education, 11 (2), 224-237

  • Punch, R., Creed, P.A., Hyde, M. (2005).
    Predicting career development in hard-of- hearing
    adolescents in Australia. Journal of Deaf Studies
    and Deaf Education, 10 (2), 146-160.
  • Punch, R., Hyde, M. (2005). The social
    participation and career decision-making of hard
    of hearing adolescents in regular classes.
    Deafness and Education International, 7 (3),
  • Punch, R., Hyde, M., Creed, P.A. (2004). Issues
    in the school-to-work transition of hard of
    hearing adolescents. American Annals of the Deaf,
    149 (1), 28-38.
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