Deaf Language Specialists: Delivering Language Therapy in Signed Languages

Autor/a: HOSKIN, Joanna; HERMAN, Ros; WOLL, Bencie
Año: 2023
Editorial: The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 28(1), 40-52
Tipo de código: Copyright
Soporte: Digital


Educación » Adquisición y desarrollo del lenguaje


Deaf professionals, whom we term Deaf Language Specialists (DLS), are frequently employed to work with children and young people who have difficulties learning sign language, but there are few accounts of this work in the literature. Through questionnaires and focus groups, 23 DLSs described their work in this area. Deductive thematic analysis was used to identify how this compared to the work of professionals (typically Speech and Language Therapists/Pathologists, SLPs) working with hearing children with difficulties learning spoken language. Inductive thematic analysis resulted in the identification of two additional themes: while many practices by DLSs are similar to those of SLPs working with hearing children, a lack of training, information, and resources hampers their work; additionally, the cultural context of language and deafness makes this a complex and demanding area of work. These findings add to the limited literature on providing language interventions in the signed modality with clinical implications for meeting the needs of deaf and hard-of-hearing children who do not achieve expectations of learning a first language in their early years. The use of these initial results in two further study phases to co-deliver interventions and co-produce training for DLSs is briefly described.