Our Research-Based Design
Although there are numerous educational software products available both at home and at school to support and enhance the influence of spoken language skills on learning, there are few accessible interactive educational products to support and enhance the influence of signed language skills on learning. To address this gap, we embarked on a ground-breaking design process bringing together Deaf children (ages 6-13), teachers of Deaf children, research scientists, interactive media developers, and graphic artists – the result was the development of a suite of innovative skill-building dual language (ASL – English) vocabulary apps designed to support, improve and/or augment young deaf children’s early language and literacy learning. The apps embed signed language phonological awareness and print skills practice within a technology-enhanced digital games environment that is highly motivating, easily accessible, and transportable. To date, the user interface of the dual language apps has gone through several iterations adapting the language, challenge levels, and key visuals based on input from young deaf co-design partners during user evaluation prototype sessions. Future plans include adaptation of the apps for use with other world signed languages.