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The life experiences of deaf high school graduates in Nigeria

William Olugbemi Olubodun, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Nigeria, a country in West Africa, has a population of 126 million people of which about 2% are deaf. The Nigerian educational system is very similar to the British system, which was inherited during the colonial era. Nigeria has had formal education of the deaf through high school since the 1950s; however, little is known about the post high school experiences of graduates of these programs. The purpose of this research was to study the life experiences of deaf high school graduates in Nigeria, using phenomenological research methodology grounded in the qualitative traditions of inquiry. ^ Two research instruments were developed for data collection. The first allowed participants to state some information about their background, including age at onset of deafness, that yielded significant information for understanding their statements during the interview. The second was a series of questions designed to elicit responses that expressed their lived experiences. ^ Data collection was conducted in Nigeria at the participants' familial environments. All participants utilized sign language as their primary mode of communication. The signed data were first captured on video camera, then voiced translated into an audiotape recorder, and later transcribed. Results showed that there were differences in how post-lingually and pre-lingually deafened high school graduates in Nigeria expressed their experiences following high school. Overwhelmingly, participants were left to their own devices to proceed beyond high school education. Participants expressed significant difficulties socializing with their non-deaf peers within high school, in their communities, and within their family structures. Participants overwhelmingly regarded post high school education and training very highly; they possessed admirable aspirations for such. The participants expressed appreciation for special post secondary education programs, which provide some opportunities. However, many of the participants thought that limitations had been placed on their vocational and professional choices because of their deafness. ^ Recommendations were offered for further research about the factors that the participants identified as enabling the positive aspects of their post high school experiences. ^

Subject Area

Education, Special|Sociology, Individual and Family Studies

Recommended Citation

Olubodun, William Olugbemi, "The life experiences of deaf high school graduates in Nigeria" (2003). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3092582.