3. Face-to-Face Communication

There are two projects in this theme. The first is developing a test of speechreading for Deaf children. Current tests of speechreading arent designed for Deaf people, but for people with spoken English as a first language. We have developed an adult test of speechreading for Deaf people which is very sensitive to differences between people (Deaf people are better speechreaders than hearing on this test), and so is helpful in understanding how useful watching speech may be for any Deaf individual.

Now we are developing this test for children aged 6 upwards. The aim is to get a detailed picture of their lipreading skills, especially if they use BSL. We will work with Deaf and hearing children on this, with speech and language therapists in London and the SouthEast.

The second project will explore face actions in sign language and in speech. The aim of this project is to find out if faces are categorised differently depending on how they are used in language.One possible use of the results of this study will be in treatment and intervention with stroke patients; another is to clarify how understanding faces and understanding language may differ.

Leader: Professor Ruth Campbell
Researchers: Dr. Fiona Kyle, Dr. Eleni Orfanidou, Dr, Cheryl Capek
Advisors: Dr. Mairead MacSweeney, Professor Bencie Woll