University of Edinburgh

How Families can support early literacy

Presented on 21 February 2004

Factors in Supporting Literacy

by Brian Shannan

  • Appropriate communication mode in place
  • Should be child-led using their own experiences/knowledge
  • Appropriate resources
  • Level and pattern of support
  • Effective collaboration home:shool:ToD:Speech and Language therapist

Factors in supporting literacy using Sign Language

  • 90% + of all deaf children are born into hearing families
  • sign language may not be the first language of the home
  • Lack of confidence/fluency in using sign language in the home
  • In the Gregory et al (1995) study, most young people welcomed attempts by their paretns to sign as it gave recognition of their deafness
  • Spencer (1993) suggests that signing competence improved if more than one member of the family were involved

Overcoming these barriers

  • The need for a standard software package available throughout the service
  • The software required to be compatible with digital video/photography
  • The software also needed to allow auditory input and output
  • Easy to use by staff/parents/children
  • Could be used by children using different communication approaches
  • Have a significant visual element.