The early years greatly impact deaf children’s long-term achievement and well-being, and early exposure to fluent linguistic and positive cultural role models are critical in early childhood (EC) settings. Yet, different perspectives exist regarding how EC settings should help deaf children learn. This survey study examined the presence and use of cultural and linguistic role models in EC environments, instruction, and interactions to see whether they aligned with a cultural or pathological perspective of deafness. Results indicated that classrooms varied in the type and frequency of cultural and linguistic offerings and that depended, at times, on the primary mode of communication used in the classroom, the teachers’ hearing level, and their ASL skill level. These findings suggest that EC settings have not fully incorporated research-based strategies, activities, and materials; interactions with role models to promote the fluent linguistic development of and social-emotional well-being for deaf children are also lacking.


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pp. 40-74
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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