Graduate project

Survey of political participation by State Association Officers affiliated with the National Association of the Deaf

The Reagan Administration's philosophy of returning governmental control back to the states or the "New Federalism," has placed responsibility on state level deaf leaders to provide leadership to maintain existing services for deaf people, The apparent lack of deaf leaders' experiences and readiness in political participation at the state level raised concerns about their abilities and resources to retain their "piece of the cake." There was no needs assessment or survey on political involvement by deaf leaders available to establish a base for future research and program planning. This study attempted to gather factual information which would describe existing political participation by deaf leaders. The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) network of State Associations perhaps involved more deaf people at the state level than any other organizations in the field of deafness. Thus, a questionnaire-type survey was sent to the Officers of the State Associations. Officers from approximately one-third of the State Association network participated in the survey. Results from the survey presented the first factual data which describes the phenomenon of existing political participation by deaf leaders at the state level.