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Open-ended questionnaires covering mainstream educational experiences and personal development of deaf and hard-of-hearing adults were analyzed. Half of the 34 deaf and hard-of-hearing respondents altered self-labels based on changes in personal definitions rather than audiological changes. Supportive school environments and coping skills contributed to positive perceptions; nonsupportive school environments and being treated as "different" were viewed negatively. Everyone valued contact withdoi:10.1093/deafed/4.3.236 pmid:15579891 fatcat:btanbrpwfnbibcbxa57avucrhm