Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communication Sciences & Disorders


This study was designed to determine the prevalence of speech and hearing disorders at the North Dakota State Penitentiary. Recommendations for suitable follow-up services for speech and hearing disorders were made to the administrative staff of the penitentiary.

Subjects for this study consisted of eighty-seven male inmates at the North Dakota State Penitentiary. The speech of each subject was evaluated to identify speech disorders of articulation, voice, and/or fluency. Articulation disorders were identified from scores obtained by the subjects on the Arizona Articulation Proficiency Scale ReVised. Voice and fluency disorders were identified on the basis of the examiner's clinical experience and judgment. A hearing screening evaluation was administered to each subject to identify hearing disorders which might impair communication. Hearing screening was completed on a Maico portable audiometer calibrated to ISO-1964 values Subjects were individually screened at 25 dB re ISO-1964 for the frequencies 500, 1000, 2000, 4000, and 6000 Hz.

Analysis of the speech and hearing evaluation results showed that 32.18 per cent of the subjects had speech disorders and 8.04 per cent of the subjects failed the hearing screening test. When these figures were compared to estimated prevalence figures for the general population of the United States, this subject group demonstrated a considerably higher prevalence of speech and hearing disorders.