Communication Technology and Deaf Individuals’ Literacy Skills

A lack of direct access to language has been historically problematic for deaf people, contributing to gaps in English literacy achievement. The authors used data from National Longitudinal Transition Study 2 to explore the hypothesis that increased access to English through computer-mediated communication (CMC) can increase direct access to language and literacy for deaf people. The results showed a relationship between the use of CMC and literacy, in that deaf adolescents who e-mailed or chatted more frequently showed higher reading comprehension skills in the following years. Overall, the findings suggest that CMC may support English language and literacy development for deaf people.

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