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Society for American Sign Language Journal








The concept of accessible reading for deaf students is new and worthy of exploration. In the face of the reading difficulties often experienced by deaf students, the lack of a specialized reading methodology that works for them must be addressed. Central to the paper is a research case study undertaken with two young deaf students, proficient in American Sign Language (ASL) and learning to read. The students participated in a tutorial with a tutor knowledgeable in a specialized reading methodology called ASL Gloss. The participating students demonstrated progress in reading skills over time. Two reading measures were adapted from English to ASL for use with deaf students. Some important features of ASL Gloss are included in the study report. The manipulated English text that closer resembles ASL and the use of the ASL-phabet, are designed to facilitate deaf students’ needed transition from ASL to English literacy (Supalla, 2017; Supalla & Cripps, 2011; Supalla et al., 2001). These deaf students engage in oral reading (in ASL) and are also given a different task. That is, to identify ASL-phabet letters that represent the phonological structure of signed words. The reading measures under development appear to promote the process of learning to read as informed by the quantitative and qualitative data. These findings support the need and promise of pursuing an alternative theory and applied research for deaf students’ reading that accounts for their ability to become fluent readers.


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Original Publication Citation

Cripps, J. H., Supalla, S. J., & Blackburn, L. A. (2020). A case study on accessible reading with deaf children. Society for American Sign Language Journal, 4(1), 36-58.