Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Ouellette, Sue E.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Communication Disorders


Deaf; Youth--Attitudes; Attitude change


Throughout history, the attitudes of hearing people toward hearing impaired persons have been negative in nature. Numerous researchers have documented the generally poor acceptance of hearing impaired people into society by the general population. Public misconceptions and misunderstandings appear to be one of the major problems facing the hearing impaired person, rather than the inherent handicap itself. The negative attitudes that hearing people hold toward hearing impaired persons may affect the hearing impaired person's self-concept, vocational ambitions, educational aspirations, work adjustment, and interpersonal relationships. With knowledge that these negative attitudes exist, efforts have been directed toward changing them within an integrated setting. This study serves as an initial attempt to quantify the amount of attitudinal change which occurs as a result of viewing a Deaf Awareness program. In this study, a Deaf Awareness program was presented to two groups of seventy hearing sixth grade students to determine the effectiveness of a Deaf Awareness program on fostering positive attitudes toward deafness. The first group of thirty-five students viewed a Deaf Awareness program which was presented by a group of six hearing impaired adolescents, while the second group of thirty-five students viewed a Deaf Awareness program presented by a hearing adult knowledgeable in the area of deafness. An Attitudes Toward Deafness Scale was administered to all students prior to and following the presentation of the Deaf Awareness program to assess the amount of attitudinal change that occurred. It was the major finding of this study that positive attitudes toward deafness did significantly increase as a result of viewing the Deaf Awareness program. However, it was also found that one group did not significantly produce more attitudinal change than the other group.


Includes bibliographical references.


78 pages




Northern Illinois University

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