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Most people consider deafness to be a disability. However, individuals who identify as being part of deaf culture often reject the label of disability. This presents a unique situation for those who are both deaf and also disabled.

It is estimated that individuals who have a hearing loss are 30-55 percent more likely to have an additional disability than individuals who are hearing. The experiences of deaf and disabled individuals are largely absent from existing literature despite their prevalence.

The purpose of this study is to explore, in-depth, the lived experiences of deaf and disabled individuals’ interactions with the deaf community.

The goal of this study is not to determine trends and prevalence rates, but to document their lived experience. It consisted of 2 online focus groups of 3-4 participants each. Participants are over 18, identify as both being deaf and disabled, and have experiences with the culturally deaf community.

All focus groups were conducted in American Sign Language. The recorded focus groups were analyzed using the Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis.

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d/Deaf Disabled Experiences with the Deaf Community

Reut Beckman

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