Post-Secondary Deaf or Hard of Hearing Students’ Experiences of Fatigue

  • Author / Creator
    Shiva Zarezadeh Kheibari
  • Fatigue can have a long-lasting impact on psychosocial, cognitive, and educational outcomes for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH). Unfortunately, fatigue itself and the importance of educational supports to minimize its impact on D/HH students is poorly understood by many educational stakeholders. Additionally, students often struggle to recognize fatigue symptoms, internalize the causes, and have limited coping strategies. The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of post-secondary D/HH students (LSL and ASL users) about fatigue in educational and social settings.
    Utilizing purposeful sampling, the present study was conducted through focus group interviews with three post-secondary students from MacEwan University who identify as D/HH (with hearing levels ranging from moderate, moderate-to-severe, to profound). Students were asked about their fatigue experience, impacts on their education, fatigue triggers, coping mechanisms. The aim of this study was to capture the unique experiences of D/HH students and move beyond their description. Thus, I used Strauss and Corbin’s (1998) systematic procedures approach to analyze data and situate my study themes.
    Four themes emerged from the interview and focus group transcripts: (a) fatigue contributors (causal conditions and situational determinants that fatigue arises from, including environment, educational task characteristics, and assistive hearing devices); (b) fatigue consequences (adverse impacts of fatigue on learning, relationships with others, and leisure time after school); (c) fatigue manifestations (fatigue symptoms, including physical, cognitive, and social-emotional); and (d) coping with fatigue (actions and strategies to mitigate fatigue). Findings also indicated that there is not enough awareness among educators and students themselves about fatigue contributors and manifestations, resulting in more adverse consequences. Thus, improving awareness of fatigue for D/HH students and others in their educational and social networks will help in identifying and managing fatigue. Findings from this study and implications for teachers, researchers, parents, and students themselves were discussed.
    This study provides unique insight and knowledge about the perceptions and experiences related to fatigue through the D/HH students’ point of view, particularly for post-secondary educational settings and retrospectively on participants' K-12 experiences. In the future, these results can be used and published by students, teachers, parents, and specialists in the context of Deaf education.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2022
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Education
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.