MEASURING SUBSTANCE ABUSE AMONG THE DEAF

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Health and Human Services
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$540,000.00
Award Year:
1994
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
19436
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
Social Science Innovations
251 New Karner Road, Albany, NY, 12205
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Marjorie Goldstein
(518) 452-2681
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
LITERATURE SUGGESTS THAT SUBSTANCE ABUSE IS AS PREVALENT AMONG THE DEAF AS IN THE GENERAL POPULATION. TO DATE, THERE ARE NOT EMPIRICAL DATA REGARDING SUBSTANCE ABUSE BY THIS POPULATION FROM WHICH TO DRAW VALID EPIDEMIOLOGICAL CONCLUSIONS. IT IS PROBABLE THAT THE NUMBER OF DEAF SUBSTANCE ABUSERS EXCEEDS ALL PREVIOUS SPECULATION. REASONS FOR LACK OF EPIDEMIOLOGIC DATA ABOUT SUBSTANCE ABUSE AMONG THE DEAF ARE: 1) LACK OF LITERACY SKILLS MAKES IT DIFFICULT FOR THEM TO BE SURVEYED. THE AVERAGE READING LEVEL IS GRADE 3.5, AND DEAF ADULTS DO NOT UNDERSTAND MORE THAN 26% OF ONE-TO-ONE CONVERSATION THROUGH LIP READING. THEREFORE, SURVEYS MUST BE DONE IN SIGN LANGUAGE. 2) THERE HAS BEEN MASSIVE DENIAL BY THE DEAF COMMUNITY REGARDING THE ISSUE OF SUBSTANCE ABUSE AND RESISTANCE TO BEING SURVEYED ABOUT ANY BEHAVIOR THAT MAY CARRY STIGMA. THEY EXPRESS FEAR THAT A DUAL STIGMA OF "DEAF AND DRUNK (DRUGGED)," WILL BE IMPOSED UPON THEM. THIS PHASE I APPLICATION TESTS THE FEASIBILTY OF INTERVIEWING DEAF PERSONS USING VISUAL/SIGN LANGUAGE QUESTIONNAIRES WITH INTERACTIVE VIDEODISC TECHNOLOGY IN TWO SIGN LANGUAGE MODALITIES (AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE, SIGNED EXACT ENGLISH) TO LEARN WAYS TO OVERCOME RESISTANCE WITHIN THE DEAF COMMUNITY AS WELL AS KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THEIR SUBSTANCE USE.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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