Mental health of deaf people with intellectual disabilities

Thursday, 23rd September 2021 State of the Art Johannes Fellinger 02:45pm - 03:30pm Room: Humboldt

One out of five deaf people has special needs, mainly intellectual disabilities (ID). Almost half of the population with special needs in learning and mobility has hearing problems, which often stay undetected. Many of them have no access to sign language and live quite isolated in hearing and speaking environments, either with their relatives or in institutions for people with ID. Miscommunication is frequently the reason for challenging behaviour in this vulnerable population.
In addition to existing literature, a thorough description of a deaf population with ID (N=61) gives insight into different aspects of their mental health. This includes analysis of their cognitive, language and socio-emotional development, their clinical diagnoses and their quality of life.
When providing support and care for individuals who are deaf and have an intellectual disability, various aspects have to be taken into account in order to guarantee their human rights in communication and social participation. A model of a therapeutic community, established to meet the specific needs of the target group is presented.

Simple and to the point:

  • Many people with an intellectual disability also have hearing problems, which often stay undetected
  • Various aspects of mental health of deaf people with an intellectual disability are presented, including social-emotional development and quality of life
  • Based on the model of a therapeutic community, appropriate support and care to meet the specific needs of the target group will be discussed