New Survey from Communication Service for the Deaf Reveals 72 Percent of Hearing Americans Have Little to No Experience With Deaf People

Thursday, March 28, 2019 Research News
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Survey examines attitudes, perceptions and experiences among hearing Americans about the Deaf community on several key issues: labels and definitions; personal experiences; communication and responsibilities; career options; leadership; and workplace impact. Key questions include: Would you recommend hiring a Deaf person? Can a Deaf person be CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a pilot, trucker and lifeguard? Is a Deaf person equally likely to succeed in life?

NEW YORK, March 28, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- A vast majority of hearing Americans – 72 percent - have little to no

experience with Deaf people throughout the course of their lives, according to a first-ever survey conducted by Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), the world's largest Deaf-led social impact organization.

CSD commissioned a survey of hearing Americans to examine baseline perceptions of and attitudes toward the Deaf community. The quantitative study, administered by Dynata (formerly Research Now SSI), was an online Census-balanced panel of 500 adults 18-years-old or older who self identified as hearing.

CSD's survey examines attitudes, perceptions and experiences among hearing Americans about the Deaf community on several key issues: labels and definitions; personal experiences; communication and responsibilities; career options; leadership; and workplace impact. Key survey questions include: Would you vote for a Deaf U.S. President? Would you recommend hiring a Deaf person? Can a Deaf person be CEO of a Fortune 500 company, a pilot, trucker and lifeguard? Would you allow a Deaf doctor to deliver your baby?

"With more than 70% of Deaf people either unemployed or underemployed, there is no issue more critical than the elimination of ongoing biases and misperceptions about who Deaf people are and what we are capable of achieving," said Christopher Soukup, CEO of CSD. "Inexperience with and ignorance of any community form a bedrock for both overt and unconscious biases. Now, more than ever, it is time to unite and create clear pathways for Deaf success."

Deaf Workers Offer Different and Beneficial Perspectives

While CSD's survey reveals several startling findings (see below), it also unveils some positive indicators:

  • 96 percent of hearing Americans say they would "absolutely and/or likely" recommend a Deaf person be hired for a job
  • 67 percent believe Deaf people in the workplace offer different perspectives that are beneficial

However, the vast majority of hearing Americans consider being Deaf a "communication disadvantage" and are unlikely to "absolutely" believe in the professional abilities or general life success of Deaf individuals:

  • Only 30 percent say that "absolutely" a Deaf person can perform their own job at equal or better level
  • Only 38 percent say that "absolutely" a Deaf person is as equally likely to succeed in life as compared to a hearing person
  • Only slightly more than half (53 percent) say they "absolutely" would recommend a Deaf person be hired for a job
  • 81 percent consider being Deaf a communication disadvantage

Deaf U.S. President or Fortune 500 CEO?

According to CSD, biases about Deaf people seem to be apparent when people are asked to imagine placing their trust in a Deaf person's capability, for example, of being U.S. President or a Fortune 500 CEO. This is the case despite Deaf individuals meeting specific job requirements and qualifications or a Deaf presidential candidate aligning with a hearing person's political values and beliefs.

  • 40 percent say they would "absolutely" allow a Deaf doctor to deliver their baby
  • 43 percent say they would "absolutely" vote for a Deaf U.S. President even if all other factors aligned with their political values/beliefs
  • 46 percent say they would "absolutely" be supportive of a Deaf teacher instructing their child
  • 47 percent say that "absolutely" is a Deaf person capable of being CEO/President of Fortune 500 company
  • While a vast majority of hearing Americans (80-90 percent) believe Deaf people are capable of performing jobs in software/information technology, skilled trades (electrician, carpenter, etc.) and office clerk, a large percentage do not believe Deaf people could be truck drivers (41 percent), lifeguards (49 percent) and airline pilots (51 percent), despite the required training and certification to perform these jobs having been met.

Vast Majority of Hearing Americans Don't Know Few Words of Sign Language

Additional key survey findings of note:

  • 79 percent say that both hearing and Deaf people have equal responsibility to figure out the most effective way to communicate
  • And, yet, 70 percent of hearing Americans do not know a few words of sign language

For more information please visit CSD.

Media Contacts:

Karen Durkin The Durkin Agency karen.durkin@thedurkinagency.com

 

SOURCE Communication Service for the Deaf



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