“Deaf and hard of hearing students are entitled to and can become independent, self-sufficient adults.” (The National Deaf Education Agenda, Goal 3.4) Achieving this seemingly simple goal can be more difficult to accomplish than it may first appear. Deaf and hard of hearing (d/hh) students often encounter barriers that hinder true independence, easily leading to a state of learned helplessness. Often we, the professionals and parents working to provide them with the best education possible, are the obstacles. Our well-meaning attempts to support these students can actually promote learned helplessness and hamper their ability to learn the skills necessary to self-advocate and become independent and self-sufficient adults.