Training hearing-impaired persons in independent living skills has become a focus of education and rehabilitation programs for the hearing impaired. Yet, few programs and assessment instruments are designed to evaluate a person's potential for acquiring independent living skills. In this study, the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale was used to classify 118 hearing-impaired persons in groups based on their ability to be trained in independent living skills. Cluster analysis was used to group the subjects according to four domains: communication, daily living, socialisation, and maladaptive behavior.
The results indicate that the behavior scale can be used to classify hearing-impaired persons according to their ability to acquire independent living skills. The cluster analysis resulted in three groups. The persons in the lowest group did not have the most severe hearing losses, but they were more likely to have additional handicaps. This suggests that additional handicaps may be more important than degree of hearing loss in determining whether hearing-impaired persons can acquire independent living skills.