Conference date and location: 24-26 October, 2011, Dundee, Scotland
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We Need to Communicate! Helping Hearing Parents of Deaf Children Learn American Sign Language

Kimberly Weaver and Thad Starner


Language immersion from birth is crucial to a child's language development. However, language immersion can be particularly challenging for hearing parents of deaf children to provide as they may have to overcome many difficulties while learning American Sign Language (ASL). We are in the process of creating a mobile application to help hearing parents learn ASL. To this end, we have interviewed members of our target population to gain understanding of their motivations and needs when learning sign language. We found that the most common motivation for parents learning ASL is better communication with their children. Parents are most interested in acquiring grammar knowledge through learning to read stories to their children.

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