As everyday home, school and teaching content becomes digitised, more accessible literacy-learning tools are needed, particularly for younger children encountering spoken-language vocabulary and grammar structures for the first time.
In 2010, “A Usability Guide to Intelligent Web Tools for the Literacy of Deaf People” was published in Italy. Several key points are noted:
- the age at which a person becomes deaf is a big factor in literacy
- typically a verbal language, or (less often) a signed language will predominate
- four ‘degrees of deafness’ exist (mild, moderate, severe, profound)
- issues of language and literacy can divide people in the deaf sector
- web-based, reusable tools will address traditional limits to literacy
One sentence observes, “Information technologists seem to be paying less attention to e-tools for improving the literacy of deaf people. Literacy is… a critical issue, crucial for the integration of deaf people into hearing society.”
For deaf students who prefer verbal language, text (via captions, subtitles or Twitter) is recommended, while the small minority who prefer sign language need a more visual teaching style, with video tools and technology to record and/or relay discussions.
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