Jordan L. Cleminson


Research investigating the experiences of the deaf and hard of hearing population has often found that people have negative experiences, such as social isolation, communication and employment barriers, and barriers to accessing health care due to their deafnessurrent study aimed to investigate individual experiences and perceptions of what it means to be deaf or hard of hearing. The rationale focuses on using inclusive methods and raising awareness of these individual experiences/perceptions, so to hopefully improve the treatment of deaf and hard of hearing people within society and in turn, improve their experiences. Photo elicitation was the chosen research method, with participants (n=2) taking part in an online survey. Three master themes were found, with some emergent themes (1. Aids don’t always aid, 1a. Amplifying the ‘wrong’ sounds, 1b. A visible reminder, 1c. Isolation, 2. It’s not all negative, 3. Relationships, 3a. Workplace relationships, 3b. Familial relationships). The themes that emerged from the current study have some relevance in reference to existing literature, and it can be concluded that although not all aspects of deafness appear to be negative, some aspects of society could better accommodate the deaf and hard of hearing population. Inclusive research like the current study could be replicated on a larger scale, with more participants and a broader range of hearing abilities being involved. Conducting inclusive research such as the current study will allow more members of the deaf and hard of hearing population to share their experiences, and ensure them of the value of their input. Additionally, institutions such as healthcare and education could aim to educate more thoroughly on deafness and its implications, as well as teaching strategies which may reduce communication barriers between the deaf and hearing communities.