Journal of Communication Disorders, Deaf Studies & Hearing Aids

Journal of Communication Disorders, Deaf Studies & Hearing Aids
Open Access

ISSN: 2375-4427


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Introduction of Visual Amharic to Educate Deaf Students in Ethiopia - A Pilot Study

Thomas Shull, Molash Hailu, Abera Nega, Telahun Gebrehiwot and Miriam Redleaf

Objective: To describe the reception of Visual Amharic in 3 schools for the Deaf in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Design: Cued Speech enhances lip-reading by providing real-time visual representations of the phonemes of spoken English. This system was adapted to Amharic, the national language of Ethiopia, and taught in 3 weeklong workshops there. Results: Three weeklong workshops were provided with 6 months’ intervals between. The first workshop had 39 attendees, the second had 57, and the third had 69 attendees. The first workshop’s 39 attendees were24 Deaf students, 8 faculty, and 7 parents. The second workshop’s 57 attendees were 12 Deaf students (2 new/10 returning), 44 faculty (37 new/7 returning), and 1 returning parent. The third workshop’s attendees were 38 Deaf students and 31 teachers from 6 schools. Between the first and the second workshops 26 attendees (17 students, 7 faculty and 1 parent) reported on their use of Visual Amharic in a survey: All but 1 had used Visual Amharic since the workshop. Six students and 6 teachers had taught it to others. Conclusion: Cued Speech was adapted to Visual Amharic. Attendees were able to grasp its structure and begin it use after a weeklong introduction.