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All Keywords: Deaf Culture, Educational Psychology, Handicapped Education, Language Arts Education, Reading Education, Phonology


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Summary: I'm interested in a grant to support a clinical trial of a particular reading approach with Deaf students. Currently, better than 98% of Deaf students graduate from high school reading at the 3rd grade level. People are beginning to understand why, but no one (largely for stupid political reasons) is really doing anything about it. I have lots of anecdotal evidence about a program I have seen be effective. Love to get some $ to demonstrate, empirically, the efficacy of this approach. Here's the big idea. One needs to be able to manipulate phonemes (the smallest unit of sound in a language) to read. If you're prelingually deaf, obviously you can't do this. And yet, that is precisely what the tiny percentage of skilled Deaf readers do. (They can rhyme, count sounds in words, etc.). How they do this is somewhat of a mystery, but we know this sort of phoneme manipulation skill is prerequisite to reading. Anyway, there now exists a visual cueing system that uses hand shapes to represent English phonemes and people are using it here and there with Deaf kids -- no one has any research though, and none yet exists -- with reportedly impressive results. (I have seen some of this and actually have some video of Deaf kids using it and reading high school level materials.) Anyway, some keywords might include: Deafness and reading, Deafness and phonemic awareness, Deafness and reading intervention, Deafness and reading instruction, strategy or approach (?); Cued speech and Deafness and reading. The traditional $ source for the kind of project I'm thinking about is NIH (specifically, the National Institute of Deafness and Communication Disorders).


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