This thesis presents the research that was undertaken to create YoungDeafDesign, a design method for designing with young Deaf children. 95% of young Deaf children are born to hearing parents (Deaf Children Australia & Deaf Services Queensland, 2008; WA Deaf Society Inc., 2008), which often results in delayed acquisition of language, and related long-term impacts on literacy, academic outcomes and social adjustment (Calderon & Greenberg, 2003; Chamberlain & Mayberry, 2000; Hoffmeister, 2000; Karchmer & Mitchell, 2003; Kyle, 2009; Mayberry & Eichen, 1991; Morford & Mayberry, 2000; Padden & Ransey, 2000; Peterson, Wellman, & Liu, 2005; Sass-Lehrer & Bodner-Johnson, 2003; Strong & Prinz, 2000). Multimedia technologies are well suited for use in sign language learning (Ellis, 2007, 2009; Korte, 2012) and could expose Deaf children (and their hearing parents) to sign language earlier in life, thereby supporting earlier acquisition of language and helping to mitigate the impacts on literacy, academic outcomes and social adjustment. To create technologies which are appealing to young Deaf children, and which address their needs and abilities, young Deaf children should be involved in the design process.
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