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An Investigation of Speechreading in Profoundly Congenitally Deaf British Adults

Mohammed, TE; (2007) An Investigation of Speechreading in Profoundly Congenitally Deaf British Adults. Doctoral thesis , University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

Speechreading is the major route through which deaf people access the spoken language of the society in which they live. This thesis investigated speechreading and its correlates in a group of profoundly congenitally deaf British adults, and in a control group of hearing adults. For this purpose, the Test of Adult Speechreading (TAS) was developed. The TAS was designed to be sensitive to the perceptual abilities that underlie speechreading at varying linguistic levels, and to be appropriate, therefore, for use with d/Deaf as well as hearing individuals. The vocabulary and syntax used were selected to be familiar to Deaf adults, and the response mode, using picture choices only, made no demands on written or expressive spoken English. This new test was administered silently to groups of congenitally deaf and hearing adults, with a battery of visual, cognitive and language tasks. The deaf participants differed in their language and educational backgrounds, but all had hearing losses over 90dB. They significantly outperformed the hearing group on the TAS, even when only closely matched pairs of participants were included in the analyses. Adults who are deaf can speechread better than those who are hearing. Multiple factors impact on an individual’s speechreading abilities, and no single factor in isolation results in good speechreading skills. In addition to hearing status, other factors were identified through group comparisons, correlation and regression analyses, cluster analyses and multiple case studies, as being potentially necessary (although not sufficient) for skilled speechreading. These were lexical knowledge, the ability to visually identify sentence focus, and verbal working memory capacity. A range of further factors facilitated skilled speechreading, including hearing aid use, the use of speech at home during childhood, sensitivity to visual motion, personality (risk-taking & impulsiveness), and reading age. It seems there are many ways to become a skilled speechreader.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: An Investigation of Speechreading in Profoundly Congenitally Deaf British Adults
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest
UCL classification: UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of)
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1420895
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