Deaf Parents with Hearing Children and School

Eva Klimentova, Vit Docekal

OBJECTIVES: We described the social risks that are associated with educating the hearing children of deaf parents (CODA) in the Czech Republic and the proposed possible solutions vis-à-vis social work tools at the institutional level. THEORETICAL BASE: We utilised a knowledge base of bilingualism and deaf culture for research and found themes related to theories of needs and to knowledge about the causes, manifestations, and risks of deprivation. METHODS: We applied a qualitative research strategy in two areas: the first focused on the childhood experiences of CODA, specifically on interpretation for deaf parents; and the second was devoted to examining experiences of parenting CODA. OUTCOMES: We revealed the social factors that regularly hindered CODA while attending school. Deaf parents often seek informal strategies to support their children in coping with school responsibilities, but not always successfully. SOCIAL WORK IMPLICATIONS: The difficulties of families raising school-age CODA appear to be preventable. Thus, we suggest the involvement of a school social worker in supporting these children and/or the inclusion of CODA as children with special educational needs within the Czech education system. Effective, low-impact adjustments can be made to schools and school organisation for CODA; this would, among other things, increase their chances of success in schools, their preparedness for secondary and tertiary education, and their eventual access to the labour market.

CODA, school needs, school attendance and truancy, deaf parenting, social work

p. 86-98

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