Healthy Families
of Children who are Deaf

John L. Luckner, Ed.D.
Ann M. Velaski, M.A.

National Center on Low-Incidence Disabilities
University of Northern Colorado

Importance of Family

Families are the critical element in the development of healthy, competent, and caring children (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments, 1997).

Importance of Family

The quality of family life affects the success of young people in school, the community, and significantly influences how well they will function as adults (Singer & Irvin, 1989).

Importance of Family

Previous research on successful students who are deaf (Luckner & Muir, 2001) and successful adults who are deaf (Luckner & Stewart, 2003) indicated the family as the most important factor in their success.

Purpose of Study

To interview healthy families of children who are deaf to identify the factors that contributed to their health as well as to solicit from them suggestions for other families who have a child who is deaf as well as for professionals in the field of deaf education.

Definition of Family

"Two or more people who regard themselves as a family and who perform some of the functions that families typically perform. These people may or may not be related by blood or marriage and may or may not usually live together" (Turnbull & Turnbull, 2001, p. 12).

Definition of a Healthy Family




Data Collection Interview Questions

Data Collection Interview Questions


Interviews were transcribed, coded and analyzed

Interview Results...

Factors that contributed to being a healthy family who has a child who is deaf

Interview Results...

Identify challenges have had to overcome

Interview Results...

Professionals helpful?

Interview Results...

Professionals hinder? If so, how?

Interview Results...

Advice for other families with children who are deaf

Interview Results...

Advice for professionals who work with families who have a child who is deaf

Interview Results...

Anything else?

Study Limitations


Final Thoughts

The family is the most important constant in a child's life, and the family environment is the richest context for social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development.


Presentation based on article:

Luckner, J. & Velaski, A. (2004). Healthy families of children who are deaf. American Annals of the Deaf, 149(4), 324-335.

Thank You