BACKGROUND: During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a rapid increase in the amount of information about the coronavirus on the Internet . If the language used in the video message is not clear or understandable to deaf and hard of hearing (DHH) people with a high school degree or less, the unclear message can create confusion and information gaps among DHH people during a health emergency .
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the relationship between DHH people's perceived effectiveness of physical distancing and contagious level for an asymptomatic person .
METHODS: A cross-sectional study on the perceptions of DHH people on COVID-19 (N=445). Items pertaining to COVID-19 knowledge were administered to US deaf adults from April 17 , 2020, to May 1 , 2020 via a bilingual ASL/English online survey platform .
RESULTS: The sample consisted of 475 DHH adults aged 18 to 88 years old, with 74% identifying as White and 60% as female . About 88% of the sample felt they knew most or a lot about PD . This figure dropped to 72% for the effectiveness of PD in reducing the spread of coronavirus and 70% for the contagiousness of an infected person without symptoms . Education and PD effectiveness significantly predicted knowledge of asymptomatic individual . Race, gender, and age did not emerge as significant predictors .
CONCLUSIONS: This study results point to the strong connection between education and coronavirus-related knowledge . Education-related disparity can be remedied by making information fully accessible and easily understood during emergencies and pandemics.