Mémoire de Julie Tardy
A standardized definition of deafness is now agreed by general consensus. However, the issues of screening, monitoring and description of personal experience of deaf persons are just beginning to be addressed by different authors. And yet, numerous deaf children point out difficulties, ask questions and raise specific issues related to their deafness. Their parents and speech therapists are often at the receiving end of theses queries. Even when specific issues have been identified, there are few solutions offered to improve their quality of life, that may be seriously impaired.
Based on that assessment, we aimed to design a set of visual aid highlighting various difficult conditions experienced by deaf children and some of the questions they may raise. We expected that such an instrument would facilitate sharing and communicating over those issues and reduce anxieties and misunderstandings and, eventually, that such a set of visual aids may be used during therapies of deaf children and of their parents.
To realize that project, we used questionnaires to canvass parents of deaf children and deaf persons. Their testimony allowed us to comprehend their experience of deafness and identify the difficulties, questions and recurrent issues raised by deaf children. That allowed us to design visual aids based on a set of ten drawings. Then, that set of visual aids was put forward for assessment to speech therapists, parents of deaf children as well as to deaf children and adults to verify whether it was suitable.
People met were thrilled and showed appreciation for the substance as well as for the form of the set of visual aids presented. That confirmed our initial hypothesis. This set of visual aids appears to answer a real need for sharing, dialogue and communication between a child, their family and a speech therapist on issues of deafness.
Key words: deafness/ visual aid/ speech therapy/ Specific real-life experience/ communication