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Access issues related to a learning disability assessment pilot study with a Hawai‘i college sample

25 July 2014


The Akamai Learning Disability Model, a culturally sensitive learning disability assessment model that accounts for Hawaiʻi multicultural factors, was critically evaluated and assessed in this study. Due to access issues across individual, community, and systemic levels, the study was revised to address access issues specific to Native Hawaiian individuals. A survey was created to examine access issues (e.g., financial, transportation, insurance, Asian and Native Hawaiian family and gender role power hierarchies, mental health stigmatization/shame, minority mental health perspectives versus Western mental health, and Native time) and Native Hawaiian individuals’ attitudes and beliefs that may affect learning disability testing. Participant demographics included 37 participants (28 women, 9 men, Mage = 31.7 years, age range: 18-50 years) with completed surveys, and 10 participants (6 women, 4 men, 0 transgender, Mage = 25.9 years, age range: 18-50 years) with partially completed surveys. Data analysis consisted of frequencies and averages, and trends were noted. It should be noted that access issues identified in the Akamai Learning Disability model were also salient in this study; participants endorsed that these access issues impacted their engagement in mental health treatment and assessment services.


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