Kara Brooks

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Castle, Nancy M.

Degree Name

B.S. (Bachelor of Science)

Legacy Department

School of Allied Health and Communicative Disorders


No matter what area of communicative disorders a student chooses to pursue (speech-language pathology, audiology, rehabilitation counseling, etc.), he or she will undoubtedly be a provider of services to those who have impairments/disabilities and their families. Recommended practice supports the participation of a multitude of family members. This serves to benefit the individual with the impairment/disability. The study began with basic research. Information was gathered from books, professional websites, and other sources on the topic of interest. This served to provide a basic understanding of the deaf and hard of hearing populations and their families, and to learn data gathering and analysis techniques. It also aided in creating guided interview questions on the topic of interest. Interviews with three deaf or hard of hearing persons were conducted. Interviews were also conducted with three family members of deaf or hard of hearing individuals. These participants included faculty members, staff members, and students of Northern Illinois University. The method of research is a case study. It was decided that this method would be the most effective means of depicting a genuine portrayal of family life with a deaf or hard of hearing individual. The result is a narrative for each participant, describing the impact of having a family member with hearing loss or being a family member with hearing loss. Common findings included an overall satisfaction and positive experience when hearing loss is present in the family and a need for families and professionals to collaborate during intervention and therapy. All participants described additional time and energy that was spent on raising a member with hearing loss. The participants stressed difficulties in communication and struggles with language development.


Includes bibliographical references.


46 pages, 5 unnumbered pages




Northern Illinois University

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