Recruitment and retention of African Americans in the area of deafness rehabilitation
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African Americans as well as individuals who are deaf are often inadequately served by the vocational rehabilitation system. Individuals who are both African American and deaf face particular challenges in finding adequate vocational rehabilitation services. This problems is due primarily to the inadequate number of African American rehabilitation counselors who have knowledge and experience working with people who are deaf or hard of hearing. A question arises, therefore, as to why so few African Americans are involved in the field of deafness rehabilitation counseling. In an effort to address this question with the deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, the focus of the survey centered on questions regarding the respondents’ backgrounds, education and training experiences. Jobs indicated that most respondents felt that their education and training presented few difficulties and that they were very satisfied with their jobs. They did, however, voice a consistent need for more African American counselors to work with this population. Numerous suggestions were offered with regard to ways to increase awareness about job opportunities and enhance recruitment of African Americans into this field.