Accommodations experience and retention of students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing in postsecondary education settings
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Students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing represent a special population of students with unique accommodation needs (Cawthon & Online Research Lab, 2008). The goal of these accommodations, whether utilized during classroom instruction or assessment, is to ensure students have access to academic material and are able to demonstrate their skills on knowledge assessments. These students have historically had less access to higher education and in the last few decades research has examined their low rates of retention in postsecondary institutions (Lang, 2002). Previous research has examined a variety of social and academic factors in relation to retention of deaf or hard-of-hearing students (Albertini, Kelly, & Matchett, 2011). However, this research is often limited to few sites and time windows, rather than examining the longitudinal nature of retention. This dissertation proposed to utilize the deaf or hard-of-hearing sample in the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) to examine the extent of the relationship between students’ experiences of accommodations in their postsecondary setting and their retention in that setting. Particular aspects of this experience included student evaluations of their accommodations’ utility and whether they received sufficient accommodations. Analysis included two logistic regression where responses to questions regarding accommodations, controlling for previous school performance, socioeconomic status, and co-occurring disabilities, were used to predict college retention. Analysis also addressed whether the student’s communication modality moderates the relationship between students’ evaluations of accommodations utility and sufficiency and college retention.