This week is Deaf Awareness Week. 1 in 6 people in the UK have some form of hearing loss, and about 800,000 are severely or profoundly deaf. There are approximately 45,000 deaf children in the country. Statistics are taken from Action on Hearing Loss. There are approximately 50,000 people in the country for whom British Sign Language (BSL) is their first or preferred language.
I have achieved my level 2 certificate in BSL, and this year I have been privileged to spend a few days observing Teachers of the Deaf at work in a school for the deaf, followed by a few weeks working as a supply teacher in the school.
One thing I have become really aware of while working in this school, is the number of online educational games where the “reward” for a correct answer is a silly noise. Or where the only way you can tell if the answer you input is right or wrong is by a clapping or booing sound before the next question comes up. This is, obviously, completely lost on the children I have been working with.
My wish for Deaf Awareness Week is for educational games designers to become more Deaf aware and to make the rewards for correct answers more visual.