Date of Award

2012

Document Type

Action Research Project

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

Department

Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Kathleen Matuska

Abstract

Hearing loss is a prevalent health concern worldwide, especially among older adults. The purpose of this research was to improve the inclusion of hard-of-hearing individuals in group events in senior housing settings. Accessibility legislation, transactional models for rehabilitation interventions, and the philosophy of universal design all inform the context of this study. Qualitative interviews of hard-of-hearing seniors gathered rich data about their lived experiences, applying appreciative inquiry to focus on what works best at group functions.

Three main themes – the prominence of hearing aids, the impact of hearing loss on participation, and the downplaying of needs – informed the recommendations for staff- resident collaboration in advancing the relevant knowledge and skills of the high-rise community and shifting cultural norms to embrace inclusion. Ongoing feedback loops about communication effectiveness are crucial for the fullest possible participation by hard-of-hearing residents.

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