Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Elizabeth Nowicki


Previous research describes how Deaf children are at risk for being socially excluded from their hearing peers in mainstream classrooms. Whereas the inclusion of children with learning difficulties in typical classrooms has gained increasing advocacy, little is known about Deaf children’s views and experiences in a school for the Deaf. In this mixed methods study, interviews were conducted to investigate Deaf elementary school children’s experiences of inclusion and exclusion both at school and at home. Interviews were transcribed and through thematic analysis, four themes were developed to express these students’ experiences. The children indicated they felt included by their peers at a school for the Deaf, moreover had more positive experiences compared to at schools for the hearing. Additionally, it was found that these children felt included by their families regardless of parental hearing status, but there was a preference for connection with Deaf relatives.