Statement of Problem
Students with hearing impairments (SHI) often face additional complications during their transition from school to postsecondary life, and, unless addressed, these complications may have a significant adverse effect on their future. Scholars have argued that the support of parents during school-work transitions may significantly improve the postsecondary outcomes for impaired students (Wehmeyer & Webb, 2012; Cawthon, Caemmerer, & Pepnet 2 Research and Evidence Synthesis Team, 2014; Snyder, 2014; Hirano & Rowe, 2015).
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However, parents may not always participate in the transition process (Hirano & Rowe, 2015, p. 1), in particular, because they “possess limited understanding about transition,” lack communication with school staff, and experience a dearth of engagement in collaborative practices with the special education personnel (Snyder, 2014, pp. iv-v). Simultaneously, it is stated that little research has been carried out to record efficacious interventions aimed at increasing parent involvement in the transition process (Rowe & Hirano, 2015, p. 1), and that transition practices that are often employed may be of suboptimal efficacy (Wehmeyer & Webb, 2012).
Therefore, it is essential to engage parents in the post-school transition of their children with hearing impairments (HI) to make the transition easier for SHI and improve their postsecondary outcomes and to develop new, effective practices aimed at increasing the parent involvement.
Parents of SHI often have limited information about career opportunities for their children, and may believe that the latter “cannot succeed in the workforce as well as their hearing peers” (Michael, Most, & Cinamon, 2013, p. 333). This decreases parents’ self-efficacy (Michael et al., 2013); the latter is important if parents are to help their children with the transition from school (Hirano & Rowe, 2015, p. 5). However, adolescents may advance their self-efficacy in career-seeking while perceiving how their parents “carry out tasks associated with career exploration and selection” (Michael et al., 2013, p. 332). Also, meetings with employers may be organized to help students with HI in further career selection (Ferguson & Rodríguez, 2005).
Therefore, this intervention will be aimed at increasing parents’ self-efficacy when it comes to assisting their adolescent children with HI in seeking career opportunities.
Does knowing more about employment opportunities for persons with HI stimulate parents of SHI to take part in post-school transition? 2. Does family involvement improve the post-secondary outcomes for individuals with hearing impairments?
Knowing more about employment opportunities for persons with HI stimulates parents of SHI to take part in the post-school transition. 2. Family involvement improves the post-secondary outcomes for individuals with hearing impairments.
The independent variable of this quantitative study will be the parents’ involvement in helping their children with HI to prepare for selecting the future career. The dependent variable will be the post-secondary outcomes of children, i.e. the rates of employment and college enrollment of school-leavers with HI compared to those of school-leavers with HI whose parents did not undergo the intervention.
The population will include the parents of SHI, but the sample will consist of an experimental group of parents. This group will include the parents of SHI studying in high school grades (9-12) at a local inclusive school. The parents of all SHI from that school will be invited, regardless of their social status, age, gender, etc.; their informed consent will be gained. The control group will consist of parents of SHI who study at high school grades (9-12) at another local inclusive school.
The data will be collected in a few years, via identical surveys for parents from both groups. The survey will consist of questions about the current kind of educational or employment activity the person with HI whose parents underwent the intervention will be involved in. It will be administered via the Internet or regular mail, depending on the preferences of the sample. The data from the experimental group will be gathered and compared to that of the control group.
Features and content of the intervention
The main feature of the intervention itself is that it will take the form of a public event in which the special education specialist (SES) will provide the experimental group with information and organize a meeting with employers who have employees with HI (EEHI), and with employees with HI (EHI).
First, the SES will tell the experimental group of the possible career opportunities for individuals with HI, and of the legal issues about the employment of such individuals (in particular, that employers are obliged to take reasonable measures to adjust the workplace to the needs of their impaired employees). Then, several volunteer EEHI who have successful EHI will tell the control group about the various manners in which they adjusted the workplace to the needs of their EHI (the EEHI will be chosen so that they have different stories to tell). After that, the volunteer EHI (both deaf and hard of hearing) will tell the control group of the various ways in which they adapted to their working environment, and about what helped them to find the job.
The SES will also stress that the involvement of parents in the transition of SHI has a significant influence on the postsecondary outcomes of SHI, and will encourage them to collaborate with their children in exploring job opportunities, as well as the educational requirements for these.
After the event, the parents from the experimental group will have a chance to ask questions and to interact with the SES, the EEHI, and the EHI who participated in the event.
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The control group will not participate in this or a similar event.
The intervention will take place in a lecture hall in the school where the SHI who are children of the parents participating in the intervention will be studying.
Cawthon, S. W, Caemmerer, J. M., & Pepnet 2 Research and Evidence Synthesis Team. (2014). Parents’ perspectives on transition and postsecondary outcomes for their children who are d/deaf or hard of hearing. American Annals of the Deaf, 159(1), 7-21. Web.
Ferguson, C. & Rodríguez, V. (2005). Engaging families at the secondary level: What schools can do to support family involvement. Web.
Hirano, K. A., & Rowe, D. A. (2015). A conceptual model for parent involvement in secondary special education. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 2015, 1-11. Web.
Michael, R., Most, T., & Cinamon, R. G. (2013). The contribution of perceived parental support to the career self-efficacy of deaf, hard-of-hearing, and hearing adolescents. Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education, 18(3), 329-343. Web.
Rowe, D. A., & Hirano, K. A. (2015). Parent and family involvement: Annotated bibliography. Web.
Snyder, S. A. (2014). Engaging parents in the special education transition process: Perspectives of parents of students with significant disabilities (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from D-Scholarship: Institutional Repository at the University of Pittsburgh. (Accession No. 21134). Web.
Wehmeyer, M. L., & Webb, K. W. (Eds.). (2012). Handbook of adolescent transition education for youth with disabilities. New York, NY: Routledge. Web.