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Education Sciences




Members of the Deaf New American community reported they arrived in the United States with no formal education, unable to read or write in their native language, and had zero fluency in English. Efforts to educate them have floundered, and the study aims to find out why and how to fix the problem. Interviews of eight Deaf New Americans yielded rich data that demonstrates how education policy in the form of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and other laws fail to address their needs, because these laws do not include them in their coverage. The study’s main findings are the deleterious effect of the home country’s failure to educate their Deaf citizens, America’s failure to provide accessible and effective instruction, and the combined effect of these institutional failures on the ability of Deaf New Americans to master English and find gainful employment. This article is an argument for a change in education policy that recognizes the unique nature of this community and provides for a role of Deaf educators in teaching Deaf New Americans.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.