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Social Connectedness of Deaf Retirees


Educational Gerontology Volume 39, Number 10, ISSN 0360-1277


The intergenerational connectedness that has traditionally bound members of the Deaf community to each other is changing amidst the current technological and cultural landscape. This study explores perceptions of Deaf retirees concerning their usefulness to younger generations and their need to stay connected to each other despite increasing isolation due to implications of aging. Factors such as communication networks, transportation availability, proximity to families and friends, technology, and vital connections to the local residential school for children who are deaf are discussed as emergent themes from two focus groups conducted with 14 Deaf retirees. This exploratory study sought to discover how the dynamics between the generations have evolved and the positive and negative impact of such changes. The voices of the retirees in this study shed light on the complicating issues surrounding communication as a lifeline between generations of Deaf people who are native users of American Sign Language. Additionally, the traditions of social connectedness upheld by the Deaf community are similar to those of other collectivist cultures that also may experience shifting social networks within their own communities.


Shaw, S. & Roberson, L. (2013). Social Connectedness of Deaf Retirees. Educational Gerontology, 39(10), 750-760. Retrieved March 21, 2023 from .

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