Capstone Title:
Service Dogs for the Deaf – Helping People to Enhancing Their Lives
Is this a Capstone Project or Study?
This is a Capstone Study.
Description:
An in-depth study of Dogs for the Deaf and
the undertaking to professionally train dogs to
help people and enhance lives.
1. CAPSTONE PROBLEM OR NEED

The future of providing service dogs for the deaf requires the understanding of not only the deafcommunity but also the public in general as for the service to thrive it depends on the hard work of non-profits and generosity of donors and volunteers. The primary problems to be considered are funding, volunteers, and the dogs’ needs in general.
It is important that we investigate and consider the following:
• Funding
o How much is needed?
o What are the sources?
o How are funds solicited?
o Are there funds from governments?
• Volunteers
o Responsibilities
o How many are needed?
o How do you recruit?
o Who do you recruit?
• Dogs
o Which breed do you use?
o How do you recruit dogs?
o How many are needed?
o Dog training vs. deaf needs

With this capstone project, I will create surveys for deaf people with service dogs. I will investigate how service dogs are trained, how they must interrelate with their deaf owners and how they canenhance the lives of the deaf. In addition my investigation will look closely the progression of service dogs with new owners by issuing surveys and questionnaires that will guide and improve the development of new service dogs for other deaf clients.
2. CAPSTONE DESCRIPTION

The purpose of my capstone project is to educate both the hearing and deaf communitiesabout dogs for the deaf and to increase the awareness of the service in order toenhance resources and resource availability. This capstone project will consist of survey session that focuses on case studies. The tasks included in the design and delivery of these survey include:
• Interviews with college students both undergraduate and graduates or facilities members. The written survey will consist of standard English.
• Meeting with content mentors to approve survey and other resources every other week. The tentative dates are as follows: February 10th, February 22nd, March 7th, March 21st, April 4th and April 18th.
• Developing surveys and questionnaires to guide and improve the development of service dog for deaf people. Analyze results of surveys and questionnaires.
The deliverables will include handouts given during surveys and questionnaires to guide and improve the development of service dog enhancing their lives.
Time Frame Description Hours
February Interviews with participants
discuss service dog need for their lives

Meet with mentors for update every two weeks.

Develop survey questionnaires for participants.
2 hours to interviews college undergraduate, graduate, and facilities members throughout campus.

1 hour
2 hours
March Create and send an end of month survey on service dog

Create a midterm project report on Dogs for the Deaf – Helping People to Enhancing Their Lives
5 hours

10 hours
April Create a final project report Dogs for the Deaf – Helping People to Enhancing Their Lives 40 hours
Total 60 hours

3. BACKGROUND AND RATIONALE

Service dogs have been part of my life. I have always been interesting in studying service dogs and how they can enhance deaf people’s lives. I, myself, have a service dog who can communicate with me by just using her eyes or body language to tell me when she needs to go outside or there is someone at the door or close to me. You can tell the way she acts by using her eyes or body language when she is happy, when she is hungry or when she is sad. She also knows the sense of my feeling whenever I am happy, or when I am sad. She knows how to communicate with me as she somehow understands that I am deaf. Remarkably, she also understands sign language. As of today, she is an officially retired due to health issues.
4. OBJECTIVE OF THE PROJECT

? What do I want to understand about this topic that I don’t understand now?
I really want to understand how the service dogs for deaf people runs its organization and their mission and philosophy to enhance their lives. Their life should be worthwhile. (Need add something here….)
• What specific aspects about this topic do I want to learn?
I am curious as to which breed of dog works the best for the deaf. I would like to learn more about how the dogs assist the deaf at home and in public and how the different environments affect the dog’s behavior. Also it is important to understand how dogs are trained and how long it normally takes. How the dogs are trained to respond to fire and smoke alarms, the telephone, oven timer, alarm clock, doorbell/door knock, baby cry and name call. How are dogs placed and do they match certain dogs with certain people? After a dog is matched with a person is there always follow-up to ensure the match is perfect and both are happy with the relationship. And of course, how much does the service cost?
• What do I want to know or be able to do when I complete this project?

I want to be able to understand the true worth of service dogs for the deaf and how they enhance the lives of people. In addition I want to be able to fully articulate to both the deaf and hearing why these animals are so important to the lives of people.

• What are my research questions? I plan to hand out surveys and let them answer the questionnaires.
o What is your gender?
? Male
? Female
o Are you profoundly deaf or hard of hearing?
? Deaf
? Hard of Hearing
o What is your race?
? White/Caucasian
? Black or African American
? Hispanic
? Asian or Pacific Islander
? American Indian or Native America
o What is your current occupational status?
? Student
? Full-time
? Part-time
? Retired
? Other (Please specify)
o What is your current marital status?
? Single
? Partnered
? Married
? Separated
? Divorced
o What is your highest level of education you have completed?
? High School Graduate
? Went to college but did not graduate
? Associate of Art
? Bachelor Degree
? Master Degree
? Doctoral Degree
o How old were you become deaf or hard of hearing?
? 0-20
? 21-30
? 31-40
? 41-50
? 51- 60
? 61-70
o How would you describe your level of hearing without using the assistive listening devices? (e.g. not using hearing aids or cochlear implants)?
? Mild
? Mild to Moderate
? Moderate
? Moderate to Severe
? Severe
? Severe to Profound
? Profound
o How old were you when you had your first service dog?
_____ year(s) and _____ month
o How long do you have to wait before you are placed with a service dog?
_____ month(s) and _____ year
o Are you comfortable with your service dog?
? Yes
? No
? Maybe
o Do you require to have your dog with you all the time?
? Yes
? No
? Sometime
o Are you happy with your service dog?
? Yes
? No
o Is your dog worth it?
? Yes
? No
5. METHODS

Below are the methods that I will be using and how I will do this for my capstone project:

• I plan to interview deaf people with a service dog and hand out the surveys questionnaire.
• I may volunteer working with service dog for deaf people few hours in the metro area. This will give me an idea how to work with service dog and how to develop relationship with dog.
• Additional assessment will be completed via anonymous pre and post survey that will allow me to collect and analyze data that shows the impact of my capstone project.
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6. RELATED RESEARCH OR LITERATURE

Service Dog is a part of our everyday lives, but it also should be a part of each deaf people’s education and learning process. As service dog use becomes more and more prevalent, the big question becomes how can we use the funding to help deaf people become more successful with the service dog.
To be successful in the 21st century, deaf people with a service dog will need (need to add something here….)
To be an effective (need to add something here……)
References
Miller, C. A. (2009). Relationship between deaf identity and D/deaf and hard of hearing individuals’ attitudes toward hearing dog use.