Date of Award
Master of Social Work
School of Social Work
First Reader/Committee Chair
The present study explored common themes and barriers associated with mental health service utilization among people with sensory impairments. The ultimate goal is to promote social workers’ preparedness to serve individuals with sensory disabilities. This study is significant considering that (1) a large proportion of people with sensory disabilities do not receive mental health services and (2) there is a paucity of studies within the field of social work that examine barriers to mental health services for the aforementioned population. In this qualitative study, the researcher conducted semi-structured interviews with 14 professional social workers (N =14) who have direct experience with sensory challenged individuals. Among the major themes that emerged for the data, there was (a) lack of interest in the studied population, (b) communication difficulties, (c) stigma, (d) social construction of disability, and (e) social workers’ lack of preparedness/readiness to serve sensory challenged individuals. These findings hold major implications for theory, research, social work practice, and social work education.
Keywords: sensory impairment, social construction of mental health services, critical disability theory, social work practitioner, qualitative research
Silva, Kery, "REMOVING BARRIERS TO MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE UTILIZATION FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH SENSORY IMPAIRMENTS" (2020). Electronic Theses, Projects, and Dissertations. 993.