Communicating with Deaf Students in Inclusive Schools: Insights from Saudi University Faculty

Communicating with Deaf Students in Inclusive Schools: Insights from Saudi University Faculty

  • Mubarak ALANAZI , Department of Special Education, Jouf University,SAUDI ARABIA,

ABSTRACT

Purpose: The present study sought to explore styles of inclusive communication with deaf people in mainstream schools by answering the following research questions: a) What styles of communication with deaf students may enhance inclusive education? b) what makes these styles effective? and c) how may these styles be applied? Method: This study used a single case design, a key qualitative technique for exploring inclusive styles of communication with deaf people. Semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions were conducted with 10 faculty members specialized in deaf education from Saudi universities to obtain clear data from informants. The informants were chosen using the purposive sampling method. Data was analyzed using data codes applied to the text in accordance with the content analysis method. Results: Informants demonstrated markedly different perspectives on sign language, spoken and written Arabic, and bilingual-bicultural and total communication philosophies, citing different reasons and conditions. Sign language was the most common approach chosen by the informants because it was the preferred style of communication for the deaf. It was also found that early intervention, type of deafness, the hearing status of the parents, time when an individual became deaf, were other factors that influenced the process of choosing a communication style in a specific inclusive setting. Implications for Research and Practice: Although inclusive communication with deaf people is not yet popular in Saudi schools, informants articulated hope that education would become more inclusive. Implications were drawn concerning effective communication practices in inclusive settings for deaf students. The findings offered insights helpful for instructors and education policy makers considering which styles of communication may make education more inclusive for deaf people. Future research is needed into the effectiveness of different approaches to communicating with deaf people in inclusive education across social-cultural contexts

Keywords: Saudi Arabia, communication, deaf, inclusive education, interaction