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Am Psychol. 1996 Apr;51(4):389-96.

Professional psychology and deaf people. The emergence of a discipline.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester School of Medicine, NY 14642, USA.


This article depicts obstacles and opportunities that face students and consumers who are deaf and who interface with the profession of psychology. The rapid evolution of scholarship, specialized education and service programs, and related professional endeavors regarding psychology and deaf individuals is described. The emergence of a field of professional psychology and deaf people as a discipline in its own right is posited. Professional standards and ethics in this emerging discipline are discussed, especially those pertaining to fluency in American Sign Language (ASL) and to the accessibility of deaf people to the profession of psychology as well as to the services of the profession. The potential for the American Psychological Association to further or hinder this emerging discipline and the advancement of all psychologists with disabilities are considered.

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