Communication Technology as a Predictor of Future Attainments for Deaf Young Adults


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Communication technologies are often assumed to level the playing field for disabled individuals, but the benefits may be magnified for deaf individuals in particular. In this article, the authors tested the assumption that increased engagement with communication technology, specifically computer-mediated communication, during adolescence would contribute to actual attainment gains in adult life for deaf individuals in three domains: life, education, and employment. Findings revealed that deaf individuals who engaged with computer-mediated communication at higher frequencies during adolescence did not show discernible gains in adult life attainment in any domain. The authors conclude that the benefits of communication technology go only so far and that achieving greater equitable outcomes for deaf individuals requires larger systemic change.