A Framework for Speechreading Acquisition Tools

Benjamin M. Gorman, David R. Flatla

CHI '17: Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems


At least 360 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss that frequently causes difficulties in day-to-day conversations. Traditional technology (e.g., hearing aids) often fails to offer enough value, has low adoption rates, and can result in social stigma. Speechreading can dramatically improve conversational understanding, but speechreading is a skill that can be challenging to learn. To address this, we developed a novel speechreading acquisition framework that can be used to design Speechreading Acquisition Tools (SATs) – a new type of technology to improve speechreading acquisition. We interviewed seven speechreading tutors and used thematic analysis to identify and organise the key elements of our framework. We then evaluated our framework by using it to: 1) categorise every tutor-identified speechreading teaching technique, 2) critically evaluate existing conversational aids, and 3) design three new SATs. Through the use of SATs designed using our framework, the speechreading abilities of people with hearing loss around the world should be enhanced, thereby improving the conversational foundation of their day-to-day lives.

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