Guid Essay

Guid Essay

Effects of Lack of Acceptance of Deaf People by Hearing People on the Well-Being of Deaf People in Gaborone – Free Essay Example


Social acceptance means that other people signal that they willing to include you in their groups and relationships (Leary, 2010). Social acceptance takes place on a continuum that ranges from simply tolerating another person’s presence to actively pursuing someone as a relationship partner.

Learning acceptance is a lifelong process, and we are guaranteed to be given plenty of opportunities to practice. With clarity about what it means to accept and what effect it has on our wellbeing, we can approach our experiences differently, possibly experiencing different results. Failing to accept reality creates suffering where there’s already a pain. It creates confusion where there can be clarity, grief where there can be peace. We don’t accept things to change what’s happening, nor do we do it to feel better about it. We accept because it’s the only logical thing to do. (DeWall, 2010).

Being not accepted is associated with poor mental health, exclusion and mental health problems can join together in a negative loop. Lack of acceptance can make people have depression and they may face exclusion more often because of the symptoms of their disorder and being rejected makes them more depressed, DeWall (2011). People with social anxiety navigate their world constantly worried about being socially rejected. A feeling of exclusion can also contribute to suicide and the feeling of not being valued.


Deaf identity is also often tied to sign languages and the social connections built on the shared experience with the use of sign language. For example, deaf people habitually come together in deaf spaces, sporting events, and gatherings to rejoice their cultural identity and the experience is often grounded in the shared use of sign language. Identification with the Deaf Community that uses sign language creates a broader community of language users. Its membership is not often defined by hearing loss, although deaf people may also have a range of hearing losses and other impairments as in the wider community, but rather by identity with language. This is a personal choice and yet this opportunity is not continuously available for young deaf people and adults. Members encompass all people who are committed to the use and fluency of sign languages, such as parents and family members of deaf people, sign language interpreters, sign language learners, and teachers. (Silva, 2004).

Background of the study

According to Horejes (2007) In the 1860s, Alexander Graham Bell was a prominent oralist, and to some, a significant figure in the spreading of audism the belief that it is inherently better to be able to speak and hear. Although he confidently thought otherwise, he had an ugly relationship with the Deaf community.

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Also in 1880, pressed by talks between Bell and other prominent figures in deaf education, 164 representatives met for the Another International Congress on Education of the Deaf and only one of the delegates was deaf. At the conference, a resolution was passed that excluded sign language in schools, with the aim to encourage spoken language skills, and thus restore the deaf-mute to society. Other ways in the resolution desire us to consider the superiority of speech over signs and argue that teaching deaf people to speak English will give them a more perfect knowledge of language. After its passage, schools in Europe and the United States stopped all use of sign language. This shows that there is an undermining of sign language across the globe. (Horejes, 2007).

According to America (1998), in other countries, deaf people face discrimination and are not able to marry, inherit property, vote, or become elected, become a jury member or reproduce children. Deaf people are often underprivileged from participation in political life due to poor accessibility, and lack of information in sign language on political affairs debates and questions. Because they are unequally treated in this respect they are unable to make informed choices and many become politically inactive.

Also, there are still some countries that do not allow deaf people to obtain a driver’s license. By so doing, it limits their employment opportunities, freedom of movement and right of entry to various social grounds and life in general. Although these countries do not have legislation that openly prohibits and prejudices, a common practice by the traffic authorities or other institutions handling driver’s licenses and driver training seems to be the major obstacle against deaf people obtaining a driver’s license. It is important to note that there are no known reports that deaf drivers are a threat to other road users in the countries where deaf people are allowed to obtain a driver’s license, or that they are involved in more traffic accidents or injuries than the general population. ( America, L., Caribbean, T., & Africa, S. (1998).

Theoretical framework

Social justice theory

The study will be directed by the social justice theory which was formulated by John Rawls. The theory states that there should be equality and equity among all people. The social justice theory puts it forward that society should value diversity and eliminate injustice and bigotry in society. The theory drives forward the argument that there should be equality and equity among all people. Also, Social justice is concerned with the behaviors in which benefits and burdens are distributed among the members of society equally. This includes the fairness in which society provides, protects and recognizes the means and qualities individuals require to both determine a conception of and live, a good life (Walker, 2003). Eggen and Kauchak, (2014) repeated this stating that, people should not be categorized against based on any disability they may have, cultural background or social class.

The points Rawls considers important are: All people have the right to formal equality of opportunity. This requires all people to have the same legal rights and have equivalent access to greater social positions. According to formal equality of opportunity, the applicant who is most qualified according to the appropriate criteria is offered the position and people cannot be discriminated against for subjective qualities like race, gender, or sexual orientation. All people have unalienable ‘basic rights’ such as freedom of speech, religion, and association. The right to association refers to the right to freely join or leave groups of a person’s choosing.

How the theory is relevant to the study

This theory is relevant to the study because it emphasizes more on equality which is the basic thing needed to facilitate the communities. The theory reminds us that disability does not mean inability, therefore, deaf people also can do other things better than gearing people, therefore, there should be given equal opportunities like hearing people. Deaf people should be given equal access to job opportunities and be treated equally like every person in the community.

Theoretical model

Bio ecological system theory

The study will also be informed by Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory which defines multifaceted ‘layers’ of environment, each affecting a child’s development. According to Addison (1992) the interaction between factors in the child’s maturing biology, his immediate family/community environment, and the societal landscape fuels and steers his development. Changes or conflict in any one layer will ripple throughout other layers. To study a child’s development then, we must look not only at the child and her immediate environment but also at the interaction of the larger environment as well.

The child development may be influenced by 4 systems being the micro, meso, Exo and macro systems. The microsystem is the layer closest to the child and contains the structures with which the child has direct contact. The microsystem includes the relationships and interactions a child has with her immediate surroundings Structures in the microsystem consist of family, school, neighborhood, or childcare environments. (Berk, 2000).

The mesosystem level provides the interaction between the structures of the child’s microsystem for example, the connection between the child’s teacher and his parents and neighborhood. The exosystem labels the greater social system in which the child does is not involved directly. The structures in this layer impact the child’s development by interacting with some structure in their microsystem. Examples include Parent workplace schedules or community-based family resources. The child may not be directly involved at this level, but he does feel the positive or negative force involved with the interaction with his system. (Berk, 2000).

Exo system defines the larger social system in which the child does not function directly. The

Structures in this layer impact the child’s development by interacting with some structure in their microsystem. Examples may be Parent workplace schedules or community-based family resources. The child may not be directly involved at this level, but he does feel the positive or negative force involved with the interaction with their system, (Bronfenbrenner 2005).

According to Bronfenbrenner (2005), Macrosystem is the furthest layer in the child’s comprises of cultural values, customs, and laws. The implications of superior principles defined by the macrosystem have a flowing influence throughout the interactions of other layers. For example, if it is the belief of the culture that parents should be responsible for raising their children, that culture is less likely to provide resources to help parents.

How the theory is relevant to the study

The theory is relevant to the study because it shows the various levels at which the child has interactions to grow well. This theory applies to all children including those who are deaf and hard of hearing. For them to function fully they have to be involved in all levels of social interaction mentioned in the theory. Deaf children need to be accepted in all areas of interaction so that they grow well and have access to a wide range of opportunities at a younger age even when they are mature.

Theoretical model

Statement of the problem

It seems to be a lack of acceptance of deaf and hard of hearing people by hearing individuals in most communities. The factors leading to this lack of acceptance may include misconceptions about Deafness and people’s attitudes towards deaf people. Hearing people do not consider sign language as a type of language and they take hearing impairment as a disability but not as a language difference. They also feel that deaf and hard of hearing people cannot do anything like hearing people. Again hearing people feel that Deaf people cannot be independent and contribute to society and those misconceptions and negative attitudes towards Deafness lead to a lack of acceptance of deaf people. As a result, deaf people are not receiving appropriate help in different institutions and most of them are unemployed because hearing people are not willing to work with them. These misconceptions need to be removed and people should be made aware of deafness so that they can accept deaf people.

Purpose of the study

The purpose of the study is to investigate how deaf people are treated in different communities and the effects of how they are treated. Also, the purpose of the study is to find ways in which the awareness about deafness can be raised in different communities so that deaf people may be accepted.

Research objectives

  • to find out how hearing people interact and feel about deaf people
  • to find out how deaf people feel about not being accepted in different communities
  • to find out ways of raising awareness about deafness so that deaf people may be accepted

Research question

  • What hearing people know and understand about deafness?
  • How deaf people feel about spending time in the community mostly occupied by hearing people?
  • Are hearing people willing to work with deaf people?
  • What can be done to raise awareness about deafness?
  • How do deaf people receive help in different institutions?

Research hypothesis

Null hypothesis: there will be no significant difference between the deaf and hard of hearing people.

Alternative hypothesis: some deaf people can do better than hearing people if they are fairly treated in the communities.

Significance of the study

This study is significant because the findings from the study can be used to determine the level of acceptance of deaf people by hearing people in different communities. This will also help to raise awareness about deafness and to wipe out the misconceptions after the findings of the level of acceptance are set up. Deaf people will benefit from the study because after the awareness they may be recognized in most societies hence receiving appropriate help and treatment like every individual. People will know more about deafness and recognize that deaf people also have different talents and abilities like any other human being.


Hearing people are too ignorant, they are not willing to learn ways of dealing with deaf people.


Limited time: time is a limitation that is uncontrollable, the semester is not enough to do the whole chapter of the research because the focus is not only on the research, and other courses are also demanding, therefore, there is no enough time to do the research. We also have to ask permission from the University of Botswana and the relevant stakeholder who we are working with and this is a process because sometimes they take time to respond.

Lack of funding: funds are also important when researching traveling to the areas we are working at. Due to a lack of funds, it was difficult to visit many social institutions for my research.


The study population is very limited because it will be done in Gaborone but there are many different deaf people around the country, therefore, the study is not general due to a narrowed to a small population of deaf people.


  1. Addison, J. T. (1992). Urie Bronfenbrenner. Human Ecology, 20(2), 16-20.
  2. America, L., Caribbean, T., & Africa, S. (1998). Government Implementation of the Standard Rules As Seen By Member Organizations of World Federation of the Deaf-WFD
  3. Bronfenbrenner, U. (2005). On the nature of bioecological theory and research, Handbook of child psychology 6 (1) 793–828
  4. DeWall. C.N, Bushman. B.J (2011) Social Acceptance and Rejection: the Sweet and the Bitter, Social Acceptance and Rejection
  5. DeWall, C.N., Twenge, J.M., Bushman, B.J., C., & Williams, K.D. (2010). Acceptance by one differs from acceptance by none: Applying social impact theory to the rejection–aggression link. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 1, 168–174
  6. Eggen, P., & Kauchak, D. (2014). Educational Psychology Windows on classrooms. England:
  7. Pearson Education Limited
  8. Horejes, T., & O’Brien, C. (2016). Language attitudes: Oralism vs. manualism, the deaf studies encyclopedia 3(3), 13-23
  9. Leary, M.R., Kowalski, R.M., Smith, L., & Phillips, S. (2003). Teasing, rejection, and violence: Case studies of the school shootings. Aggressive Behavior, 29, 202–21
  10. Silva. U. M, Daugherty. M, MacDonald. M, (2004) Deaf is Dandy: Contrasting the Deaf and Hearing Cultures, Intercultural Communication Studies
  11. Walker, P. (2003). Social justice campaigns. Journal for Multicultural Education, 5.

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