Martha Sheridan


This article discusses the existence of a cultural and professional obsession with pathology which has jaded mental health assessments of consumers. The importance of incorporating ecological and strengths perspectives into the assessment process is discussed. It is suggested that individual and environmental strengths need to be taken into consideration for a more positive, respectful and empowering shift in assessment paradigms to occur. Deaf knowledgeable mental health professionals have an ethical obligation to consider the strengths and meanings of various d/Deaf, hard-of-hearing and late deafened realities as well as the individual's ancestral, cultural, spiritual and gender realities. A strengths based transactional deafness paradigm allows us to assess and incorporate the strengths and limitations of the person-environment fit and paves the way for a more humane and respectful approach to intervention.