Graduate project

A pilot study in the use of the speech indicator for adolescent deaf students

INTRODUCTION It is always of interest to note that Alexander Graham Bell was a teacher of the deaf and that during the course of his experiments to construct a device to amplify sounds for his deaf' pupils, he invented the telephone. And, ironically, it is the demands of the telephone that cause many of the problems faced by the deaf today, in employment as well as in their personal lives. Many attempts have been made to make the telephone a practical item for hearing handicapped individuals. Basically, all that is needed is to change the electrical impulses from the telephone lines into visual or tactile signals. The Leadership Training Program in the Area of the Deaf at San Fernando Valley State College in Northridge, California became involved in the problem of telephone communication for the deaf in 1963. It started out somewhat indirectly when John Darby of the American Hearing Society in San Francisco met with the presidents of several organizations in a discussion of leadership, problems among the deaf. The problem of' a lack of rapid �communications among deaf leaders was due to their inability to use the telephone. One deaf individual mentioned how quickly his hearing father-in-law was able to take care of arrangements over the telephone as compared with how long it took him to make similar arrangements using only the mails or personal contacts. In the same year a mother whose deaf daughter was expecting a baby wanted a way for her daughter to let her know when she needed her. The telephone company suggested one of the forms of telephone writing in current use. This was the first of the various electronic devices for telephone communication evaluated by the Leadership Training Program. Some of these earlier devices are listed below with data about each.