Investigating the Availability and Accessibility of Mental Health Services for Deaf Texans
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This study explored the availability and accessibility of mental health services for Deaf Texans from the perspective of practicing clinicians. Although the Americans with Disabilities Act mandates that Deaf people have the right to equal access for all medical services, including mental healthcare, not all practitioners do so effectively. In the domains of education, practice, policy, and advocacy, several barriers to providing linguistically and culturally appropriate services were revealed. More specifically, this research project underscored the need for the Social Work profession to recruit and train more Deaf clinicians; build hearing therapists’ competencies in American Sign Language and U.S. Deaf culture; support specialized mental health training for interpreters; urge insurance companies to offset interpreting costs; and provide greater client support when navigating the mental healthcare system.