Deaf individuals typically experience English language difficulties at all levels of linguistic knowledge. Hearing individuals with English language learning disabilities (LD) can exhibit the same kinds of English language difficulties as deaf individuals. Although the existence of deaf individuals who also have LD has long been recognized, no definite criteria for identifying them exist, partly because of the confounding effects of deafness and LD on English language development. Despite the confound, previous surveys suggest that teachers believe atypical English-language behavior is a potential diagnostic marker for LD in deaf individuals. In the present study, a survey solicited the intuitions of experienced teachers and tutors of English to deaf college students regarding the degree of difficulty deaf students with and without LD might be expected to have in dealing with 30 specific English language phenomena. Spelling knowledge and a variety of English discourse, lexical, syntactic, and morphological phenomena emerged as candidates for further study as potential markers of LD in the deaf population.

Publication Date



American Annals of the Deaf article.Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

American Sign Language and Interpreting Education (NTID)


RIT – Main Campus