Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Sociology

Supervisor

Wolfgang Lehmann

Abstract

National and provincial policy development reflects increased attention to inclusivity for all Ontarians in education and work. However, academic and government literature examining educational and employment transitions, fails to effectively address the experiences of those who are deaf. The limited research that does exist suggests that deaf Ontarians have lower educational and occupational attainment levels than their hearing peers (PALS 2006). Drawing on four qualitative case studies of deaf youth, this study analyzes participants’ planned transitions from high school to post-secondary education. Findings suggest that high levels of perceived self-efficacy are helpful in motivating transitions to higher education. The life course perspective illustrates the importance of interconnecting influences of family, peers, community participation, and educational setting, on the development of efficaciousness and goal setting behaviours of respondents. Though this research does not allow for generalization, this study does seek to motivate further academic research with this population.