Individuals within the Deaf, deaf, and hard of hearing populations of Kentucky have limited access to mental health resources. Further, the resources available may often be difficult to locate. The purpose of this study is to investigate the availability and quality of these resources. Additionally, it works to investigate the quality and quantity of services provided directly in American Sign Language with no use of interpreters. Finally, it serves as an insight into how mental health can be affected by hearing loss and why individuals with mental health diagnoses may have increased need for access to these services. In order to gain data, three methods have been utilized. First, a qualitative assessment was conducted to assess the thoughts and opinions of Deaf, deaf, and hard of hearing Kentucky residents in regards to mental health care services available to them through both direct ASL or provided via an interpreter. The second research method was through the conduction of a journalism-style interview with Michelle Niehaus, the Program Administrator for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services for the Kentucky Division for Behavioral Health. The third data collection was held through the research of various supporting scholarly sources. The research found demonstrates that many individuals are unaware of the services available to them or how to access said services. This research also supports the idea that there needs to be more available resources for Deaf/deaf and hard of hearing Kentucky residents, as well as a better method of informing these individuals of the resources already available to them.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-6-2022


Kara D. Kratzer

Mentor Department Affiliation


Mentor Professional Affiliation

Communication Sciences and Disorders

Access Options

Restricted Access Thesis

Document Type

Bachelor Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level




Department Name when Degree Awarded

Communication Sciences and Disorders

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)