[IAEP] hearing impaired education and Sugar
dc.loco at gmail.com
Wed Dec 16 13:08:22 EST 2009
On Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 23:47, David Han <dshan at bu.edu> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'm David Han, a Boston University student. I'm working with Caroline and
> Anurag in Boston.
> There is a prominent school for the hearing impaired in Allston, MA (Horace
> Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing). This is very close to BU. I'm
> hoping to organize Sugar on a Stick workshops for the local community at the
> Honan-Allston Branch of the library. I would like to approach this school to
> participate in our workshops.
> Are there activities on Sugar that support the hearing impaired?
> -David Han
> IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)
> IAEP at lists.sugarlabs.org
Hi David (and everyone else),
To the best of my knowledge, none of the Sugar activities explicitly target
the needs of deaf students. As Andrea mentioned the main problems involve
access to language. Any language. If a young deaf child is not exposed to
sign language (or some other accessible form of language) within
approximately the first two years of life, they are often at a linguistic
disadvantage for the remainder of their lives. The problem for kids in many
countries is that their parents may not recognize the problem early enough,
misdiagnosing deafness as something else, and the school systems are
ill-prepared to handle students who communicate visually rather than
aurally. If they are isolated enough, they do not get the opportunity to
communicate with other deaf individuals, further widening the gap.
I'm a research applications programmer for the Gallaudet Research Institute
at Gallaudet University (http://research.gallaudet.edu/). The campus houses
not only a university for deaf students, but also both an elementary school
and a high school for deaf students: Kendall Demonstration Elementary School
(KDES) and Model Secondary School for the Deaf (MSSD). The OLPC Learning
Club DC is one of the Lending Libraries, and we now have a few XO's on loan
to the instructional technology specialist for KDES and MSSD.
Since I'm not in the classroom, and have had little exposure to the junior
league kids, I haven't spent a lot of time looking into which software
offers the best possibilities for linguistic development, but I'm sure
others on this list have. In fact, two researchers involved with our Science
of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2), presented a
poster session "Designing Game Environments for Sign Language Development"
which I was unable to attend. However, I saw the poster at a later date, and
it mentioned some of the ideas behind Sugar, the XO, etc.
I do know that MIT's Scratch programming language for kids is being used to
teach English as a Second Language, by encouraging students to create little
"plays" or "stories" using Scratch.
You may want to see what the Illinois School for the Deaf is doing with
I've BCC'd an ever-growing boatload of people, listed below sans e-mail
addresses, who have all expressed interest in working with software for deaf
students, both within the US and elsewhere. If no one objects horribly, I
can send the list WITH e-mail addresses to those interested.
BCC (in no particular order): Diane Bellomy, Sue Hotto, Andrea Mangiatordi,
Martin Langhoff, Emiliano Pastorino, David Han, Guadalupe Artigas, Esteban
Arias, Tomeu Vizoso, Katelyn Foley, Yamandu Ploskonka, Mel Chua, Cristina
Berdichevsky, Rosemary Stifter, Barbara White, Caroline Meeks, Anurag Goel,
Carol Padden, Deniz Ilkbasaran, Nancy Bradbury, Pamela Broido, Nancie
Severs, Carolina Segura, Pia Waugh
Ubuntu Linux DC LoCo and Sugar Labs DC
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