Modifications in Sign Under Conditions of Impeded Visibility This study investigated the effects of reduced visibility on the distance of signing hands from the bodies of adult signers who are deaf and on their rates of sign production. Subjects were videotaped as they signed with partners in each of three experimental conditions: unimpeded, moderately impeded, and severely impeded ... Research Article
Research Article  |   December 01, 1992
Modifications in Sign Under Conditions of Impeded Visibility
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Susan L. Naeve
    Department of Communication Disorders University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Gerald M. Siegel
    Department of Communication Disorders University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • John L. Clay
    Department of Communication Disorders University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
  • Contact author: Gerald M. Siegel, PhD, Department of Communication Disorders, University of Minnesota, 115 Shevlin Hall, 164 Pillsbury Drive, Minneapolis, MN 55455.
Article Information
Hearing Disorders / Normal Language Processing / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   December 01, 1992
Modifications in Sign Under Conditions of Impeded Visibility
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1992, Vol. 35, 1272-1280. doi:10.1044/jshr.3506.1272
History: Received August 29, 1991 , Accepted January 31, 1992
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, December 1992, Vol. 35, 1272-1280. doi:10.1044/jshr.3506.1272
History: Received August 29, 1991; Accepted January 31, 1992

This study investigated the effects of reduced visibility on the distance of signing hands from the bodies of adult signers who are deaf and on their rates of sign production. Subjects were videotaped as they signed with partners in each of three experimental conditions: unimpeded, moderately impeded, and severely impeded visibility. Visual impedance was created by placing screens between signing partners. The distance of a hand from the body, in terms of lateral, vertical, and forward-depth dimensions, was determined from digitized measurements of single video frames randomly selected from those in which the subject was actively signing. Sign rate was calculated as the number of signs produced in a given segment of time. Signs produced in the severely impeded visibility condition were found to be made at a slower rate and with a mean hand position further forward and vertically higher than signs produced in the unimpeded visibility condition.

Acknowledgments
We are indebted to Superintendent Karli, Principal Galloway, and the students and faculty of the Minnesota State Academy for the Deaf for allowing us to conduct this study at their school. Their time and assistance are gratefully acknowledged.
This research was supported by grants from the Center for Research in Learning, Perception, and Cognition at the University of Minnesota and the Bryng Bryngelson University of Minnesota Communication Disorders Research Fund.
Portions of this research were presented at the annual meeting of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, November 1989, St. Louis, Missouri.
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