Effective planning to resolve the school-to-community transition problems of hearing-impaired youth begins with an understanding of what the specific problems are. To identify obstacles to successful transition, survey forms were developed for three groups—the deaf, hard-of-hearing, and deaf multihandicapped—and distributed in the Pacific Northwest to educators, rehabilitation specialists, parents, and hearing-impaired youth.
The respondents to the survey of deaf youth varied in their perceptions of the most significant barriers to successful transition. The majority of the top-ranked barriers were related to educational preparation and experiences. The ratings among the four groups responding to the survey of hard-of-hearing youth were more homogeneous. The major barriers identified centered on communication issues and a lack of adequate role models. The respondents to the multihandicapped survey agreed strongly that many problems create obstacles for this group and that problems appear to occur with a higher frequency for deaf multihandicapped persons than for deaf and hard-of-hearing persons.