Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management

First Advisor

Ryland White


Technology has changed each of our lives, that is certain. Findings from previous studies about assistive technology plus personal interviews and a survey were used for this interpretive phenomenological study. Interviews were conducted with people associated with the researcher’s work. Existing literature regarding assistive technology produced themes revolving around systemic policies & practices, various types of assistive technology, the users of assistive technology themselves (situation, age, circumstances, etc.), and the impact of assistive technology. The last theme is the focus of this qualitative study: how adult members of the Deaf and hard of hearing community’s lives have been affected by assistive technology. The devices and services mentioned by the participants are explained and/or illustrated. Comments made by the interviewees are divided into two arenas: the effects of using assistive technology and the effects of not having it. Assistive technology has helped to create a much better life for the interviewees overall, in their opinion. Each expressed that they feel a part of the larger society, can be successful at work, can know and be known, and look forward to what the future holds, albeit with some concerns. This study shows that although technology has improved their lives, equal footing for them (& others) in a hearing world may not have arrived yet.


International and Intercultural Communication | Other Arts and Humanities | Other Sociology


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