You are invited to participate in a research study.  The purpose of the study is to collect your feedback about your experiences and satisfaction with telecommunications assistance programs in South Dakota.  The study targets people who are D/deaf or hard of hearing or who have a speech impairment.

We are inviting you to be in this study because you are a member of one or more of the target populations described above, you are the parent of a child who is D/deaf or hard of hearing, or you are a service provider who may refer clients to those services.

The organization from which you received this invitation to participate agreed to share the survey with you.

The survey includes a total of 72 items but you will not have to complete all of them.  If you agree to participate, you will be asked to complete a subsection of the items depending on how you identify yourself (e.g., person who is d/Deaf or hard of hearing, who has a speech impairment, is the parent of a child who is d/Deaf or hard of hearing, or is a service provider for any of those groups).  The survey will take about 15 minutes to complete. You are free to not respond to any statements or questions that you prefer not to answer.

All responses to the online survey will be treated confidentially and stored on a secure server. However, given that the surveys can be completed from any computer (e.g., personal, work, school), we are unable to guarantee the security of the computer on which you choose to enter your responses. As a participant in our study, we want you to be aware that certain "key logging" software programs exist that can be used to track or capture data that you enter and/or websites that you visit.

Your responses will be anonymous to ensure that they cannot be linked to you.  However, at the end of the survey you will be invited to share your contact information if you wish to be considered for a follow up focus group, which is part of this project.  If you provide your contact information it will only be used to contact you about the focus group if you are selected to be included.  Your contact information will not be linked to your survey responses.  We will keep your contact information until the focus group part of the project is complete and then all contact information will be destroyed.  If the contact information is part of the paper survey, it will be shredded.  If the contact information is part of the online survey, it will be deleted from the database.  Finally, if we write a report about this study we will do so in such a way that you cannot be identified.

There are no known risks from being in this study, and you will not benefit personally. However, we hope that others may benefit in the future from what we learn as a result of this study.           

Your participation in this research study is completely voluntary.  If you decide not to be in this study, or if you stop participating at any time, you will not be penalized or lose any benefits for which you are otherwise entitled.

If you have any questions, concerns or complaints now or later, you may contact us at the number below.  If you have any questions about your rights as a human subject, complaints, concerns or wish to talk to someone who is independent of the research, contact the Office for Human Subjects Protections at 605/677-6184.  Thank you for your time.

If you have questions about this research please contact Elizabeth K. Hanson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, USD Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, (605) 677 – 5474 during the day.

Completion and return of the survey implies that you have read the information in this form and consent to participate in the research.

Please keep this form for your records or future reference.


Thank you!

Elizabeth K. Hanson, Ph.D., CCC-SLP

Jessica Messersmith, Ph.D., CCC-A

Lindsey Jorgensen, Au.D., Ph.D., CCC-A

Communication Sciences and Disorders

University of South Dakota