Date of Award

8-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Jason Berman

Second Supervisor

Peter Carpino

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between four specific models of disability and the substance abuse counselor’s (SAC) self-assessment of cultural competency when working with deaf sign-language users. Given the exploratory nature of the study, the researcher chose an interview strategy to collect qualitative data. The research question informing the study is: What is the relationship between SACs’ knowledge of the four models of disability and their self-assessment of cultural competency when working with deaf sign-language users? Qualitative data was collected from interviewing 10 substance abuse counselors. A particular effort was made to interview both hearing and deaf SACs, with varying experience working with deaf sign-language users. The researcher’s intent was to not test the effectiveness of therapeutic treatment. Analysis of the qualitative data utilized a content analysis approach that developed categorical dimensions to code the data. The researcher’s goal was to generate plausible hypotheses regarding the relationship between the SACs’ knowledge of the four models of disability and their self-assessment of cultural competence. A secondary purpose of this study was to enable the researcher to offer evidence-based recommendations for professional development for substance abuse counselors.

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