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Cross-Cultural Competencies

Introduction Documents

Memorandum from the RPRC:NCDHR and DHCC leadership. This document provides a brief introduction and explanation for Cross-Cultural Competency.

Policy on Assuring Cross-Cultural Research Competencies. This document provides definitions, processes, and responsibilities connected with Cross-Cultural Competency.

Required Readings and Other Recommended Readings

Required Article #1: Cross-Cultural Ethics in the Conduct of Deafness Research by Robert Pollard, Ph.D.

Abstract: This paper argues for and illustrates the application of contemporary cross-cultural ethical principles and practices in deafness research. The relevance of framing some deafness research as cross-cultural is first explained. A gradient is defined where cultural bearing varies from low to high, depending on a study's topic and design. It is concluded that scientists should employ contemporary cross-cultural ethical practices when their studies have cultural bearing. The evolution and nature of these special ethical practices are then detailed. They extend research protections beyond the individual participant to the host community as a collective entity. They address: relations with the heterogeneous host community, the research agenda and design, the participation of host community scientists, publication foci and channels, and more. Specific applications of these principles and practices to deafness research are described.

Please choose one of the two articles listed below.

Required Article #2a: Deafness as Culture by Edward Dolnick, The Atlantic Monthly (September 1993) Please contact NCDHR for a copy of the article.

Abstract: Well-meaning efforts to integrate deaf people into conventional schools and to help them learn to speak English are provoking fierce resistance from activists who favor sign language and an acknowledgment that the world of deafness is distinctive, rewarding, and worth preservation.

Required Article #2b: Clinical and Cultural Issues in Caring for Deaf People, by Steven Barnett, MD (Fam Med 1999;31(1):17-22)

Background and Objectives: The clinical practice of family medicine is increasingly cross-cultural. Promoting culturally sensitive and competent health care is one of the goals of medical educators in guiding medical students and residents, as well as designing continuing education for family physicians. Working with minority communities is essential to meet that goal. The Deaf community is a linguistic and cultural minority group that is often overlooked. Working with the Deaf community to help develop cultural competency and sensitivity has potential benefits. This article introduces some of the sociocultural experiences of deafness and their relevance in health care settings.


Other Recommended Readings and Videotapesof Deaf Culture, Deaf heritage and American Sign Language


Once you are completed with the required readings and any further reading and watching you have done, please print and fill out the forms listed below.

Attestation Form

Evaluation Form

Please fax these forms to (585) 276-1256 or mail these forms to:

National Center for Deaf Health Research
Attn: Erika Sutter

Box 708
265 Crittenden Blvd
Rochester, NY 14642


Thank you for completing our Cross-Cultural Competencies!