The effect of teacher inservice training on the frequency of communication acts accomplished by learners who are deaf-blind



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Texas Tech University


The ability to communicate is considered a basic skill in our modern world, yet many individuals with severe and profound disabilities, including deaf blindness, experience significant difficulty related to communication development. The literature strongly suggests that service providers need the ability to recognize all behaviors that may be interpreted as communicative, and to accomplish this, communication modes must be recognized. The need to train service providers who work with individuals with deaf-blindness has been well documented.

This investigation sought to determine if a one-day in-service training program designed for teachers of students with deaf-blindness would subsequently impact the number of communication acts accomplished by their students. A pretest-posttest design with repeated observations was employed. The subjects were 10 public school teachers who were randomly assigned to a control group and an experimental group. To determine the number of communication acts, each teacher In the study was paired with a student during three 15-mlnute pretest observations and three 15-minute posttest observations which were videotaped during routine activities in the classroom. The videotapes were transcribed and subsequently scored.

The teachers in the experimental group received a one-day in-service training program which sought to increase awareness and ability to recognize the many modes of communication used by their students. As a part of the in-service, the teachers were administered a pretest and a posttest regarding basic communication knowledge Including communication modes.

Factorial analyses of variance (2 x 6), univariate and multivariate, were conducted to address null hypotheses concerning communication acts. Results of the analyses indicated that the research hypotheses were not supported. It is noted, however that the experimental group teachers showed a significant increase in scores on the pretest-posttest communication knowledge test. This suggests that the one-day inservice program was effective in improving knowledge but that it was not effective in impacting students in the classroom.



Blind-deaf children -- Education, Teachers of the blind-deaf -- In service training, Blind-deaf children -- Means of communication