Center Papers

Toward Ethical Research Practice With Deaf Participants

Singleton, J.L., Jones, G. & Hanumantha, S. (To appear, July 2014). Toward ethical research practice with Deaf participants. Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics.

In recent years, scholars have been critical of what they consider unethical conduct by researchers whose studies focus on members of the Deaf or signing communities. This is the first empirical study that investigates ethical concerns and recommendations from the perspective of three stakeholder groups (Deaf research participants, researchers, and Deaf studies experts). We analyzed focus group discussions using strategies from grounded theory and community-based participatory research. The themes we identified highlight the need for the broader scientific research community to include linguistically and culturally sensitive research procedures that more adequately protect the rights of Deaf research participants, as well as other marginalized groups. We address the need to increase the number of Deaf scientists and reconsider collaboration practices between Deaf and hearing researchers.