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Thursday, June 18 • 5:15pm - 7:45pm
Pathways to Resilience: Perspectives from the Guamanian Sign Language Community

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Abstract #333
Pathways to Resilience: Perspectives from the Guamanian Sign Language Community
Presenter: Heather Grace Zimmerman
Marginalized groups tend to experience significant adversity throughout their lives related to deficit perspectives from groups in power. In spite of difficult circumstances some are remarkably resilient. The current mixed methods study interviewed hearing caregivers and Deaf adults on Guam, in order to understand how they think about success and resilience related to deaf people. A content analysis revealed that: 1) Resilience is employed in culturally and contextually specific ways; 2) To be seen as successful, one had to be better than the norm, as in other marginalized groups; 3) Related to hearing loss, caregivers reported that their deaf children had a strong intuitive sense that allowed them to compensate for being deaf; and 4) for the sampled Guamanians, communication either promoted or obstructed deaf individual’s success and resilience. Findings support previous resilience research and add to our understanding of indigenous and deaf ways of “doing well” despite adversity.

avatar for Heather Grace Zimmerman

Heather Grace Zimmerman

PhD Candidate, Gallaudet University
Zimmerman has a bachelors in ASL/English interpreting and a masters in International Development with a focus of people with disabilities in Small Island Developing States. She is currently a doctorate student studying resilience in deaf children and youth. She is interested in the... Read More →

Thursday June 18, 2015 5:15pm - 7:45pm EDT
King's Gym Gymnasium, King's College

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