Susan Foster


The purpose of this project was to study academic and social aspects of mainstreaming from the perspective of mainstreamed hearing impaired students. Data were collected through in-depth, semi structured interviews with 20 hearing impaired students attending Rochester Institute of Technology. While students appreciated the opportunity to attend classes with hearing peers and felt they were succeeding academically, they also experienced separation and even isolation within the mainstream class. This isolation stemmed from three major kinds of constraints, including the physical grouping of hearing impaired students, the use of impaired students also tend to rely on social networks of hearing impaired students also tend to rely on social networks of hearing impaired peers and participate largely in hearing impaired clubs and social activities. Their explanations for these friendships patterns include increased opportunity to meet hearing imparied peers at RIT, ease and comfort of interaction with hearing impaired students, importance of group identification, and the negative influence of social prejudice.

Publication Date



Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Communication Studies and Services (NTID)


RIT – Main Campus