Addressing Communication Barriers Among Deaf Populations Who Use American Sign Language in Hearing-Centric Social Work Settings

Bruno, David

The primary mission of social workers is to provide services to meet the needs of vulnerable populations, including people who are deaf and use American Sign Language (ASL). It is imperative for social workers to conduct culturally and linguistically competent practices to address deaf clients’ unique requirements. However, due to a shortage of competent social workers specializing in the deaf population, deaf people are likely to interact with hearing social workers who have insufficient knowledge of ASL, Deaf culture, and proper accommodations for deaf people. This paper explores core issues that impact deaf people’s access to social work services and urges that hearing social workers become familiar with the policies that protect the rights of clients with disabilities. Critical recommendations are offered to enhance access for deaf clients using ASL to more comprehensive social work services


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Columbia Social Work Review

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Academic Units
Social Work
Published Here
July 28, 2020