Black deaf individuals' reading skills: influence of ASL, culture, family characteristics, reading experience, and education

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Psychiatry, Systems and Psychosocial Advances Research Center

Publication Date


Document Type



Adolescent; Adult; *African Americans; *Cultural Characteristics; *Education of Hearing Disabled; *Education, Special; Educational Measurement; Educational Status; *European Continental Ancestry Group; Family Characteristics; Family Relations; Female; Humans; Male; Persons With Hearing Impairments; Questionnaires; *Reading; *Sign Language; Social Support; United States; Young Adult


Communication Sciences and Disorders | Education | Health Services Research | Mental and Social Health | Psychiatric and Mental Health | Psychiatry | Psychiatry and Psychology | Race and Ethnicity


Previous research on the reading abilities of Deaf individuals from various cultural groups suggests that Black Deaf and Hispanic Deaf individuals lag behind their White Deaf peers. The present study compared the reading skills of Black Deaf and White Deaf individuals, investigating the influence of American Sign Language (ASL), culture, family characteristics, reading experience, and education. (The descriptor Black is used throughout the present article, as Black Deaf individuals prefer this term to African American. For purposes of parallel construction, the term White is used instead of European American.) It was found that Black Deaf study participants scored lower on measures of both reading and ASL. These findings provide implications for possible interventions at the primary, secondary, and college levels of education.


Am Ann Deaf. 2010 Fall;155(4):449-57.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American annals of the deaf


At the time of publication, Melissa Anderson was not yet affiliated with the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed