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Gesture Identification in Children with Hearing Impairment: A Comparative Study

Anand A., Jain M, Kujur D, Nikitha M, Abhishek B P


Gestures are used during verbal communication naturally and spontaneously by individuals across age, culture and different background. Gestures and speech have a strong association and they share properties across temporal, structural and meaning aspects. Literature has shown pronounced link between gesture and speech however, there have been convincing and contradictory findings of the potential link of gestures and speech. So, there exists a need to further study gestural ability HI individuals who are unable to process verbal language in the same way as hearing individuals. 59 Neuro-typical children and 47 HI children served as participants for the study. Total of 30 stimuli were presented through gestures one at a time visually through a video. Participant were asked to name the nouns and verbs in one word or indicate their response through writing. Each correct response was scored 1 and incorrect responses (including no response, semantically unrelated response) were scored 0. Responses were tabulated separately for nouns and verbs with a maximum score of 15 each. The literature regarding gesture identification has suggested that the gesture decoding abilities would be better in children with HI or would be in par with typically developing children. However, the finding was strikingly different as children with HI performed poorly compared to normal children. This could be because the children considered for the study were trained by using written language and sign language but the gestures used were different and conventional.


Comparative study, gestures, hearing impaired, nouns, speech, verbs

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