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Deaf people are a highly diverse population with a wide range of communication preferences, cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and additional disabilities that shape their interactions with their environment. It is important to recognize that for many deaf individuals, “identity” is fluid and can change over time. Some experiences are shared by all members of this diverse community but there is also value in honoring differences such as communication preferences. This section is dedicated to understanding more about the diversity within the deaf community and working with individuals to create accessible environments.

Communicating With Deaf Individuals

The ability to communicate defines us as human beings and as a society. It forms a foundation for decision making and relationship building. Communicating with deaf individuals is an achievable goal, even when accommodations (e.g., interpreters) are not present. The tools available to us are considerable and limited only by our creativity and desire to communicate.
 
Topics: Deaf 101
Useful For: Audiologists, Disability Services Professionals, Employers, New Users, Teachers
 

The Deaf Community: An Introduction

The characteristics of Deaf culture are formed out of many shared life experiences rooted in a visual world designed for communication ease.
 
Topics: Deaf 101
Useful For: Audiologists, Disability Services Professionals, Employers, New Users, Teachers
 

Effective Communication

Effective communication affords deaf individuals the ability to share and/or receive information in a manner that is successful for them. Effective communication increases the opportunity for full and equal participation in any situation. Effective communication is fluid and allows all parties to receive and respond to information equally.
 
Topics: Deaf 101, Legal/Policy
Useful For: Administrators, Audiologists, Disability Services Professionals, Employers, New Users, Parents, Students, Teachers
 

Laws Concerning Accommodations: Summary of Section 504, IDEA, and ADA

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) work together to protect children and adults with disabilities from exclusion, discrimination, and unequal treatment in education, employment, and the community.
 
Topics: Deaf 101, Legal/Policy
Useful For: Administrators, Disability Services Professionals, Employers, New Users, Parents, Students, Teachers
 

Speech-to-Text Services: An Introduction

Today's technology affords deaf individuals access to the world like never before. Speech-to-text is one example of technology that brings access to individuals who are visual communicators.
 
Topics: Deaf 101, Speech-to-Text (Services)
Useful For: Disability Services Professionals, Employers, New Users, Parents
 

Sign Language Interpreters: An Introduction

The role of the interpreter appears to be very straightforward—to effectively facilitate communication between deaf individuals and those who are hearing. However, the complexities of the task, the varieties or types of visual interpreting, and the enormous range of qualifications brought by the interpreter make it anything but simple.
 
Topics: Deaf 101, Interpreting
Useful For: Audiologists, Disability Services Professionals, Employers, New Users, Teachers
 

Importance of Effective Communication Between Deaf and Hearing Individuals

This brief summarizes the research related to effective communication between deaf and hearing individuals.
 
Topics: Deaf 101, Research & Data
Useful For: Employers, Interpreters, New Users, Students
 

Attitudes Toward Deaf Individuals

This brief summarizes the research about attitudes toward deaf individuals as critical factors that influence their academic and employment outcomes.
 
Topics: Deaf 101, Research & Data
Useful For: Disability Services Professionals, New Users
 

Deaf People and Educational Attainment in the United States: 2017

This report provides a comprehensive overview of the most current data on educational attainment trends and trajectories for deaf individuals in the United States, serving as a resource for community members, educators, researchers, and policymakers.
 
Topics: Deaf 101, Research & Data
Useful For: Administrators, Disability Services Professionals, Parents, Students, Teachers, Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals
 

Deaf People and Employment in the United States: 2016

This report provides a comprehensive overview of the most current data on employment trends and trajectories for deaf individuals in the United States, serving as a resource for community members, advocates, educators, researchers, and policymakers.
 
Topics: Deaf 101, Research & Data
Useful For: Administrators, Disability Services Professionals, Parents, Students, Teachers, Vocational Rehabilitation Professionals