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Counselor Preference

Inspired by the Steinberg et al. (1998) study, Dr. Candace A. McCullough and Sharon M. Duchesneau, LCPC of Alternative Solutions Center, Inc. decided to poll the Deaf community on counselor preference. As the graph shows, respondents overwhelmingly prefer a signing Deaf counselor to a signing hearing counselor. Out of 47 respondents in the original study, 83% preferred a Deaf counselor and 17% preferred a hearing counselor. The 2014 study (McCullough and Duchesneau) of 1010 respondents replicates this finding, with a slightly higher 85% of respondents preferring a Deaf counselor and a slightly lower 15% preferring a hearing counselor. The 1998 study included Deaf people from ages 18-78, who lived in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The 2014 study, which was conducted on Facebook and the Internet, included Deaf people from ages 18-65+, from all over the United States. Despite 85% of respondents expressing a preference for a Deaf counselor, licensed Deaf counselors are almost definitely nowhere near 85% of all the signing counselors who provide services to the Deaf community. The challenge is how to correct this. The next goal is to collect statistics related to licensed signing Deaf counselors.