Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Roth, Gene L.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Deaf--Education (Higher)--United States--Case studies; Hearing impaired--Education (Higher)--United States--Case studies; Deaf--Services for--United States


The population of students who are deaf or hard of hearing and attending mainstream postsecondary institutions has increased over the years, in part due to societal efforts to provide greater access to the community at large. These students present challenges to the institution in terms of access due to their linguistic and cultural differences as well as administrative and budgetary demands for services. The purpose of this case study was to describe and analyze a postsecondary institution's services for persons who are deaf or hard of hearing in order to understand the process of development and maintenance. The importance of this dissertation is apparent from the clear call for studies about support services from the field. The review of the literature has shown a dearth of research. This qualitative approach employed purposeful sampling to select the site and 17 participants. Concurrent data collection consisted of audio and video recordings, review of 99 institutional documents, and 15 field observations. The overall strategy of analysis was descriptive with the use of chronological, life history, and ethnomethodological approaches. Risks to the trustworthiness of the data and ethical concerns, including the need to apply cross-culture guidelines, were managed in the research design. The results of this study identified variables that influenced the process of development and maintenance. First were content variables of legal requirements, societal changes, the Deaf community, available funding, and interagency links, combined with institutional support that served as the catalyst for the beginnings and development of the services. It is at this point that organizational variables of continual administrative and programmatic changes, in combination with a Deaf presence, initiated and enabled services to remain within the site. Maintenance has occurred because a climate of institutional acceptance developed over time. Acceptance was shown when employees of the institution learned how to use services and understood students who were served, including those from the Deaf culture.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [159]-172)


xi, 206 pages




Northern Illinois University

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