View all articles in this issue
Disability and Society: Appearance Stigma Results in Discrimination Toward Deaf Persons
Download this article for $1.00 (FREE for Members)
by Kristen S. McClellan and Edie B. Woods* - Madonna University
Categories: Health | Personality | Social
This experiment tested whether deaf consumers experience a longer wait for service in retail establishments than their hearing counterparts. Pairs of confederates, either deaf persons conversing in sign language or hearing persons using spoken English, entered randomly selected retail stores. Confederates clocked the time it took for a sales clerk to approach and offer service. The results indicated that sales clerks offered assistance significantly more quickly to hearing consumers. This result suggests that the ability to hear is a significant factor in determining the length of wait for service. We offer suggestions for studying discrimination in restaurants, department stores, and employment settings and for educating retailers about appropriate ways to serve disabled consumers.