Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Tina Jaeckle

Committee Member

Grace A. Telesco

Committee Member

Marcelo Castro


This paper examines the perceived and practical schism between deaf society and the police when the deaf attempt to obtain police services. The paper challenges current police culture and operating procedures, which tend to marginalize deaf society and largely ignore the mandates contained in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This qualitative research project is focused upon perceived law enforcement practices and culture through a multi-layered study of police customs, law, policy, and standard operating procedures as experienced, perceived, and reported by deaf individuals.

A constructivist grounded theory approach was used to examine the way law enforcement is perceived by the Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard-of-Hearing community. Open-ended interviews were conducted to gather data. The data gathered will be shared in the hopes it will impact the criminal justice system’s approach to deaf individuals, culture, and issues. The data casts a critical light upon the limitations in policing and the lack of attention to historically important legislation.