Graduate project

Hearing impaired students' perceptions of support services

The purpose of this study was to evaluate hearing-impaired students' perceptions of the seven services (interpreter, paid notetaker, volunteer notetaker, notetaker/interpreter (notetaker with communication skills), counselor, tutor and aural rehabilitator) offered to them at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). This study used the 169 hearing-impaired students who were matriculated as full or part-time graduate or undergraduate students at CSUN during the spring semester, 1977. Of the 169 questionnaires sent, 81 were returned and 79 used to compute the findings. The Consumer Questionnaire consisted of a series of 19 statements regarding each of the seven services. The hearing-impaired students (consumers) were asked to agree or disagree with each of the 19 statements for the service(s) they used. They rated each on a five-point Likert scale. The distribution and collection of the questionnaire was done in an anonymous manner. The questionnaires and a cover letter were sent out through the mail. The students were instructed to fill out the questionnaire and return it in the envelope provided. The major finding of this study was that there was a high degree of satisfaction on the part of the consumers with the individuals providing the services and the services themselves. The responses indicated that the consumers felt that all services helped them maintain their grades. To a lesser degree the consumers agreed that the services helped them to improve tl1eir grades. The consumers tended to agree that the providers of all seven services communicated well with them. They agreed more strongly that the interpreters, counselors, tutors and aural rehabilitator communicated better. Responses on four paired statements on whether the services were more comfortable and enabled better functioning among hearing-impaired students or hearing students showed the consumers perceived the services as more comfortable and more enabling among hearing-impaired students in 12 of the 28 situations, and more comfortable and enabling among hearing students in 16 of the 28 situations. However, the consumers always rated the service of the counselor as more comfortable and enabling among hearing-impaired students. And, they always rated the services of the interpreter and notetaker/interpreter as more comfortable and enabling among hearing students. The consumers responded less often and tended to disagree that academic competition, socializing and participation in extracurricular activities were facilitated by the services.

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