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Women and Deafness


Contemporary Gender Issues and Deafness   Famous Deaf Women   Organizations of Deaf Women  




This page is devoted to exploring educational issues related to Deaf women 







Skin Cancer Education



Courtesy of AACE


       Education is usually thought of as our school years; however, life long education needs to continue throughout the lives of all individuals.  The official Journal of the American Association for Cancer Education displays how important life learning is for individuals.  With skin cancer being the most common type of cancer, it is important that individuals understand how to prevent themselves from acquiring it.  Skin cancer is preventable and treatable if individuals are educated with the appropriate knowledge. However, most of this knowledge and information is inaccessible to the Deaf community. Therefore, the inaccessibility prevents them from gaining the information and education needed to be able to prevent skin cancer.  Individuals in the Deaf community may be at risk for increased levels of skin cancer due to the limited access to health information and education. 

       Harry et al. (2012) researched the effectiveness of a skin cancer educational video in American Sign Language, ability to increase Deaf individual’s knowledge on skin cancer. 136 Deaf participants participated in this study.  A 60-min video was used entitled, “ Be Smart, Beat Skin Cancer” which was produced in 2006 by the Deaf Community Services (DCS) of San Diego, Inc., the Moores University of California San Diego (UCSD) Cancer Center, Gallaudet University, the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), and Bovee Productions (Harry et al., 2012).  Those in the study who were exposed to the skin cancer educational video increased their knowledge and information about skin cancer.  Since the video was culturally and linguistically developed for the Deaf community, those participants who watched the video gained more information then the control group or those who watched a different video.

      “With funding from the National Cancer Institute, the video has also been disseminated free to the partnership's country- wide network of Deaf-friendly churches and copies can be borrowed from the NAD's free lending library. It has also been made available to the American Cancer Society, Deaf community service agencies, and schools for the Deaf individuals" (Harry et al., 2012, p. 505). 


More information about ASL Cancer Education videos and programs for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing can by found at the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center at http://cancer.ucsd.edu/coping/resources-education/deaf-info/Pages/default.aspx


Harry, K., Malcarne, V., Branz, P., Fager, M., Garcia, B., & Sadler, G. (2012). Evaluating a skin cancer     education program for the Deaf community. Journal Of Cancer Education: The Official Journal Of The American Association For Cancer Education, 27(3), 501-506.



UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. (2013). ASL Cancer Education videos and programs for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Retrieved from http://cancer.ucsd.edu/coping/resources-education/deaf-info/Pages/default.aspx

Posted By: B. Foster








DAWN Helps Educate Deaf Women About Abuse


Deaf Abused Women’s Network (DAWN) is an organization meant to educate women in the deaf community about physical and sexual abuse in relationships.  DAWN is based out of Washington, DC and has found that in the deaf community in Washington 50% of deaf women experience physical and/or sexual abuse from their partner (Deaf abused women's network).   “DAWN's mission is to promote healthy relationships and end abuse in the Deaf community of the Washington, DC area…” by providing services for women to educate themselves about the help they can receive (Deaf abused women's network).  The services provide to deaf and hard-of-hearing women are:

·         Resource referral (medical and legal)

·         Case management

·         Peer advocacy

·         Counseling

·         Support groups

DAWN works hand in hand with many Deaf communities and often hosts events at Gallaudet University to educate young deaf women who are at the highest risk for abuse. DAWN hosts many educational seminars that include public speakers that provide informative pamphlets for deaf women.  Education is the first step in decreasing physical and sexual abuse in the deaf community; DAWN is decreasing abuse by educating deaf women.  

Resources  Deaf abused women's network. Retrieved from http://deafdawn.org/ 
Posted By  S. Covert






Education for Deaf Children

American Society for the Deaf Children, ASDC, was founded as an independent, non-profit organization in 1967. ASDC’S ambitions are to instill a positive learning environment for children with hearing loss by having accommodations made in the best interest of the student. Their long-term goal is centered on preparing the children now in order to show them they have the resources to be self-sufficient by the time they reached adulthood. This allows for accommodations to be made in not only a school setting but also home life as well. These accommodations were made to ensure individuals were able to have a “language-rich environment” in all aspect of their life.


American Society for Deaf Children - About ASDC. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.deafchildren.org/testimonial

Posted By  Alexis S.






Approaching Equality Education of the Deaf by Frank Bowe

Frank Bowe is the former chair of the commission on the Education for the Deaf. In his book, Approaching Equality, he writes about information regarding the deaf community and the education system for deaf children. It is written to help parents of deaf children learn about their rights to educational programs for the deaf. It should clarify some issues that would other wise be too confusing. This book should help when dealing with deaf education issues to resolve the problem like an expert.

Resources  Bowe, F. (1991). Approaching equality education of the deaf by frank bowe. T J Pub Inc. Retrieved from http://www.rehabmart.com/product/approaching-equality-25131.html
Posted By  Diana Cruz 






The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (I.D.E.A.) is a law that was passed in 2004, that ensures educational services to any child with disabilities nationwide.

I.D.E.A. determines how states and private agencies provide early education to special needs children. 

Due to I.D.E.A., deaf children can start school in a Preschool Program for Children with Disabilities (PPCD) at age three and are eligible for schooling until they are twenty-one years of age.   

Posted By  Jessica Whipple






Breast Cancer Education for the Deaf

The University of San Diego and the Deaf Community of San Diego joined together with the USCD Department of Communication and Gallaudet University to make an education program for Deaf or severe Hard of Hearing women concerning breast cancer. Prior to this education program, Deaf women face barriers in health services due to their low literacy skills,fear of interpreting wrong information, and limited access to breast cancer programs that have made a significant difference for hearing women.

Cancer is indeed a complex process to explain, and getting educated on early detection of breast cancer can avoid limited amount of treatments (due to the severity) or possibly a fatal outcome. This page consists of videos(along with the transcripts) that thoroughly explain significant information women need to know about breast cancer.

Here are the major topics that can be watched:

*What is Breast Cancer?

*How do I know if I'm at risk?

*How can we find breast cancer early?

*What happens if I find a lump?



Resources  Retrieved from http://cancer.ucsd.edu/coping/resources-education/deaf-info/Pages/breast-cancer.aspx
Posted By  Jacqueline Najera






Deaf Women and Mainstream Educational Experience


A study was conducted at Gallaudet University called the Solitary Mainstream Project. This consisted of 60 Gallaudet students and their experiences going through grade school. One individual that stood out in particular was named Oliva. She was mainstreamed as a young child and remained in the regular classroom throughout her grade school years. She felt as if she was “the only one”, she says. Then one day Oliva had an epiphany one day in the school cafeteria. She spotted the Gallaudet soccer team that was at the college for a game. Oliva had never seen signed ASL before, although she felt a strong connection to them. She felt as if the deaf students were “her people” she described. Oliva went on to enroll at Gallaudet and submerge herself into deaf culture. She was determined to find other students like her who were mainstreamed their entire lives and then discovered deaf culture later on. This is where the Solitary Mainstream Project came in.



Moores, Donald . Alone in the Mainstream: A Deaf Woman Remembers Public School . 151. 1. Washington DC: Gallaudet University Press, 2004. 88-89. Web. <http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/aad/summary/v151/151.1moores02.html>.

Posted By  Jessica Welter






Preparing Deaf & Hard of Hearing Teens for the World of Work 

The unit was created for students ages 14-22 who were Deaf or hard of hearing and were at risk from dropping out of high school. The goal is to invite Dead and hard of hearing workers and professionals to volunteer as role models to address critical issues faced by young deaf and hard of hearing people. The role models can help students by helping them develop an ‘enduring understanding’ by increasing their self-esteem and help them be better prepared for the world of work. Here are some reasons why students drop out of high school:

1. “Deaf students of hearing families who struggle to understand or accept deafness deaf culture or sign language. Communication break-down in the home leads to poor outcome- linguistically, emotionally, socially, & educationally.”

2.“Deaf students who do not have sufficient role models to help them prepare for the world of work.”

3. “Deaf students of families who are unable to help due to limited resources.”

4. "Deaf students of families and some teachers who unknowingly believe in myths and stereotypes about deafness which hold them back from succeeding.”

5. “Deaf students of families who never graduated from H.S.” 

Resources  Preparedeafteens.ppt
Posted By  Mary Stegall





Educational Bridges- Medical

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, AHRQ, is building educational bridges to fill in the missing gaps of communication concerning medical issues with a deaf and hard of hearing person. The Rebecca and John Moores Cancer center at the University of California at San Diego established a few ideas that can help with the communication gap between the doctor and a deaf and hard of hearing person. Patient education materials were made such as videos and webinars, where an interpreter will be on the screen. A program called the Fellowship Program was developed for UCSD medical student to train, learned ASL, and worked with a deaf person. The undergraduate prehealth professional club was established to further the education background of Deaf culture to the medical students who wanted to learn more. The interpreter training is an online program where interpreters will learn all the medical terms to tell the deaf patient. The program's educational materials significantly increased cancer knowledge among people who are deaf or hard of hearing and may have led to some positive changes in health-seeking behaviors. The fellowship program increased the cultural competency of participating students in serving the deaf community. The AHRQ wants to continue in their programs hoping that rest of the medical field will do the same to overcome the communication barrier. Most deaf people do not get the right education that they need to know the medical terms and conditions, such as cancer. These programs will make deaf and hard of hearing people feel more comfortable going to the doctor’s office. This will also help deaf and hard of hearing people have a better education over what they need to know when they go through a medical conflict, like fighting through cancer.


Sadler, G. (2013 January, 9). Educational Programs Bridge Communication Gaps Between Providers and Deaf Community, Leading to Enhance Knowledge About Cancer Among Deaf and Hard-Of-Hearing Patients.

Retrieved from: http://www.innovations.ahrq.gov/content.aspx?id=2344

Posted By  Beena Thomas











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