Graduate project

A comparative study of the attitudes of elementary children in integrated and nonintegrated settings toward hearing-impaired children

Mainstreaming is a current trend in the United States supported by state and federal legislation. For successful integration of deaf children, many factors must be considered. Peer acceptance is a crucial element if mainstreaming is to succeed. The purpose of this study was to discover the attitudes of hearing children toward hearing-impaired children when they share a learning environment and when they do not. An additional purpose was to ascertain whether or not the mode of communication of the deaf children influenced those attitudes. A questionnaire was developed and children were interviewed individually. The conclusions drawn from this study were (1) that integration reduces negative attitudes at the first-grade level, (2) that integration does not necessarily promote positive attitudes, (3) that hearing-impaired students who have high academic and social abilities elicit most positive attitudes, and (4) that students from all programs see sign language as desirable and indicated interest in learning it.

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