The Experiences of Parents of Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Vietnam: A Preliminary Study Focusing on Access to Education

Author: Thi My Hanh Nguyen

Nguyen, Thi My Hanh, 2017 The Experiences of Parents of Children Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing in Vietnam: A Preliminary Study Focusing on Access to Education , Flinders University, School of Health Sciences

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Background: The purpose of this research is to examine the experiences of parents of children who are deaf or hard of hearing in supporting their children to access education in Vietnam. Parents play a crucial role in supporting their children to gain full access to education. However, it was widely reported that parents of those children confront a range of problems to support their children to access education. Currently, there has been a lack of research exploring the experiences of those parents in literature. This research examines factors affecting those parents in supporting their children to access education, factors supporting them to overcome those challenges, and their expectations for their child’s future education.

Methodology: A qualitative approach using a phenomenological research design was chosen to explore the central phenomena. Ten parents of children who were diagnosed as deaf or hard of hearing and aged 6 to 9 years were recruited through the support of the Association of Parents of Children with Hearing Impairment. Participants were interviewed via telephone with a mix of open and closed questions; interviews were audio recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed.

Findings: The research results show that there are nine main factors that affected the parents in this study in making decisions relating to education for their children including: lack of information resources, perspectives of those parents on communication approaches, the families’ financial capacity, the psychological impact on the participants after their children’ diagnosis, the attitude of family members, attitude of school administrators, lack of local schools and qualified teachers, and current education system for the Deaf in Vietnam. Apart from those factors, the lack of knowledge of the participants’ partners about Deaf education and the partners’ employment are considered to be barriers to educational access and successful communication with their child. Five main factors which are considered as facilitators for those parents: family support, social network, employers, the Intergenerational Deaf Education Outreach project, and the mother’s characteristics. Self-determination of the mothers in this research plays a key role in decisions relating to education for their children at early ages. The majority of the parents expected their child to have better access to education for the Deaf and achieve higher levels of education in the future.

Keywords: Deaf or Hard of Hearing, access to education, parents' experiences

Subject: Disability Studies thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2017
School: School of Health Sciences
Supervisor: Ruth Crocker