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Original Research Articles

A Qualitative Approach to Study the Identity Development of Deaf Students in India


Sunita Kathuria

GGSIP University, IN
About Sunita
Sunita is involved in research on Inclusive Education (Deaf Education in particular) for the past eight years. She is trained in Indian Sign Language and has M.Sc. and M.Ed. degrees and a Diploma in Hearing, Language and Speech Management and Guidance and Counseling. She has good exposure in management and rehabilitation of Deaf students in inclusive setups.
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Purpose: This research aimed to explore the deaf identity development process and to compare the identity status of deaf children in India, based on their exposure to inclusive and segregated educational institutions. The first section of the paper presents the Deaf Identity Development Models proposed by other researchers, while the second section deals with the information acquired from the deaf students in the study sample.

Method: Forty pre-lingual deaf students were selected through a purposive sampling technique. The study tool was an adapted version of the Deaf Identity Development scale. The data was analysed qualitatively through content analysis. Identified themes were presented along with the verbatim statements.

Results: The findings revealed that the age of onset of hearing loss, degree of hearing impairment, parents' hearing ability, family's socio-economic status, parents' education, family environment, the attitude of parents, social exposure, present and past experiences and social acceptance of the deaf child contribute tremendously to the development of an identity. The study also found that most of the deaf students who had not attended special schools possessed a culturally marginal identity, whereas students with prior special school experience possessed a bicultural identity and were better adjusted in the inclusive schools as compared to their counterparts.

Conclusion: Further research is suggested, with a special focus on how people with different degrees of congenital hearing impairment experience and negotiate their identity in context.

How to Cite: Kathuria, S., 2022. A Qualitative Approach to Study the Identity Development of Deaf Students in India. Disability, CBR & Inclusive Development, 33(1), pp.27–51. DOI:
Published on 15 May 2022.


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