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Educational outcomes of young people in Scotland who are deaf or hard of hearing: Intersections of deafness and social class

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    Rights statement: © This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Inclusive Education on 30/06/2014, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/13603116.2014.929749."

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-302
JournalInternational Journal of Inclusive Education
Issue number3
Early online date30 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


This article focuses on the intersection between deafness and social class in the context of the unstable economic circumstances in Scotland following the 2007 recession. More specifically, this research investigated the following in the case of young people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing (DHH): (1) the interaction between educational attainment and post-school outcomes, and social class; (2) post-school educational experiences in relation to social class. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with thirty young people (aged 18-24) who are DHH. Interview data was analysed alongside administrative and survey data on school and post-school outcomes, and policy documentation. It was found that, in line with the mainstream population, social class is strongly associated with educational outcomes and post-school destinations. The interviews revealed that middle class young people who are DHH were able to use social networks and the advocacy of parents to mitigate the negative consequences of deafness; this contrasted with the more troubled post-school experiences of young people from less advantaged social backgrounds. This research suggests that if the life chances of deaf young people are to be improved, both social class and deafness need to be taken into consideration by policy makers and practitioners.

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