Valerie Borum


Although deafness does not eliminate membership in racial, ethnic, linguistic, or cultural groups, American, Anglo-Saxon, middle-class families, whose primary language is Standard English, have been the reference point in defining deafness. Research related to cultural differences in perceptions and responses to deafness has been scant. Children of color are largely at-risk for hearing loss due to disproportionate rates of poverty. The purpose of the present study was to examine the perceptions and responses to deafness among African American hearing families with deaf and hard-of-hearing children. Specifically, this study addressed African American hearing caretakers’ etiological conceptions of deafness, perceptions of deaf people, and perceptions of hearing impairment.