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Sign Language Studies

American Annals of the Deaf

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Black Deaf Students: A Model for Educational Success

Carolyn E. Williamson

Chapter Nine
A Resilience Program Model

The data from this research suggest that the participant were resilient individuals. Protective factors in their live helped them become resilient, and these factors facilitated their successful transitions through elementary school, high school, and postsecondary programs.

Much can he learned from the data in this study. Its findings suggest that protective factors in families, schools, postsecondary programs, and communities could contribute to the academic achievement of African American deaf and hard of hearing students. Further, their resilience and academic achievement could prepare them for postsecondary programs.

The participants’ families, especially their parents, played major roles in fostering their resilience. There were only three participants whose parents had set the goal of a college education for them prior to graduation from high school. The other parents set a goal of high school graduation. The data does not show that most of the parents had an established plan for their child’s academic transition into and graduation from college. However, they had practices that promoted resilience in their children, and their children succeeded in postsecondary programs.

Though schools and community organizations were involved in the education of the participants, the research does not show that there was a coordinated plan of action that was set in motion with the ultimate goal and outcome of postsecondary graduation for the participants. From the information gathered from the participants, in most cases their families, the schools, and the organizations acted independently of each other in fostering resilience, and their independent actions ultimately’ contributed to the participants’ earning bachelor’s degrees.

The key question is: how can parents, schools, and community stakeholders who provide protective factors that contribute to academic achievement collaborate on a comprehensive resilience program designed to prepare students for postsecondary programs? This study and other research clearly point out that there are factors within families, schools, and community organizations that promote resilience and positive academic outcomes for young children, adolescents, and young adults.

The recommendation of this researcher is a collaborative program model for developing and building protective factors in the students’ environments that lead to resilience. From the study data, resilient African American deaf and hard of hearing students are able to successfully transition into and through four-year colleges and universities. The more resilient students are, the better able they are to function.


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