This article analyzes the results of a pilot study of the application of a proposed questionnaire on social perception of deafness in the primary and secondary education setting. The first part of the article discusses the rationale for evaluating the integration of deaf girls and boys in mainstream schools and the suitability of the questionnaire for this purpose.
The second part describes the process of drafting the items covering aspects such as the quality of communication, social perceptions of deafness from the point of view of the hearing person, deaf students’ self-esteem and the degree of social integration they can attain.
A conversation is made up of visual and auditory signals in a complex flow of events. What is the relative importance of these components for young children’s ability to maintain attention on a conversation? In the present set of experiments the visual and auditory signals were disentangled in four filmed events. The visual events were either accompanied by the speech sounds of the conversation or by matched motor sounds and the auditory events by either the natural visual turn taking of the conversation or a matched turn taking of toy trucks. A cornea-reflection technique was used to record the gaze-pattern of subjects while they were looking at the films. Three age groups of typically developing children were studied; 6-month-olds, 1-year-olds and 3-year-olds. The results show that the children are more attracted by the social component of the conversation independent of the kind of sound used. Older children find spoken language more interesting than motor sound. Children look longer at the speaking agent when humans maintain the conversation. The study revealed that children are more attracted to the mouth than to the eyes area. The ability to make more predictive gaze shifts develops gradually over age.
The formation of visual-auditory associations on recognition of speech sounds (phonemes) in conditions of simultaneous presentation of visual stimuli was studied. Two categories of visual stimuli were used – images of gestures and geometrical figures. The formation of visual-auditory associations was assessed in terms of degradation of response parameters in control experiments after completion of training. The protocol for presentation of combined pairs of stimuli included new combinations of stimulus pairs differing from those used during training to visual-auditory interactions. Reaction times and the proportions of correct responses were measured on phoneme recognition. These experiments showed that use of images of gestures as visual stimuli produced marked visual-auditory associations, which contrasted with combinations of sounds with images of geometrical figures. It is suggested that these differences can be explained in terms of the involvement of the neuron system operating in gesture perception in forming visual-auditory associations.