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'All the Doors are Closing': National Deaf Services Users' Thoughts and Views on Deafness, Mental Health and Employment

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This qualitative study invited Deaf adults with mental health difficulties to reflect on mental health, Deafness and the barriers to obtaining and retaining employment. The term Deaf with a capital 'D' denotes Deaf people as a cultural and linguistic minority group, who use sign language as their first language (British Deaf Association 2000). Eight people took part in three focus groups and one interview. The findings were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Six themes arose from the analysis: stigma, the benefits of employment, the support required, the differences and similarities between Deaf and hearing populations, communication and the challenges of mental health compared with those of Deafness. The strongest message was that Deaf people with mental health difficulties require somebody who speaks their language when obtaining employment. A list of recommendations is provided, which has relevance to occupational therapists.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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