Dissertation

Few and Far Between: Deaf Faculty of Color at Postsecondary Institutions

The purpose of this study is to explore the intersectional experiences and retention of Deaf Faculty of Color (DFOC) employed at postsecondary institutions, with the goal to explore resources and support that influence the retention of DFOC. Overall, I was interested in learning more about the work experience of DFOC and how their relationships with students, peers, and administrators impact retention rates. The problem that this project addresses is the lack of knowledge surrounding DFOC experiences at predominately hearing- and white-populated universities and community colleges. Many factors impact DFOC employment opportunities and qualifications but have not yet been explored. There is a gap in knowledge and practice due to the insufficient information published or otherwise accessible on this particular marginalized faculty group. This qualitative study employed a critical grounded theory tradition, which allowed DFOC's narratives to emerge and produce a suitable framework that will define their intersectionality and work experiences. This study is also guided by the following theoretical frameworks: Intersectionality, Critical Race Theory in education, and Deaf Latin[x] Critical Theory. This study aims to answer the following two research questions: (a) What are the intersectional experiences of Deaf Faculty of Color in higher education?; and (b) What are the retention experiences of Deaf Faculty of Color in higher education? To answer these questions, I collected 15 interviews from individual participants across the nation. The aim of my study was to emphasize the racial diversity among Deaf faculty members. Ultimately, Deaf scholarship needs to broaden its resources and literature by bringing in more diverse perspectives and narratives. My study contributes to the formation of a new "Critical Deaf Studies" that centralizes Deaf People of Color epistemologies and narratives.

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