In a mixed-methods study, which included surveys of 247 parents and 151 teachers, the researchers investigated the modes of communication used by children with cochlear implants and the role of signed communication in the children’s lives. Findings indicated that 15%–20% of the children in the parent surveys and approximately 30% of the children in the teacher surveys were using some form of signed communication. Qualitative findings from interviews with parents, teachers, and children with cochlear implants elaborated on the quantitative findings. While the development of spoken-language communication was the main aim of their children’s cochlear implantation for the large majority of parents, many valued the use of either Signed English or Australian Sign Language, which they felt supported their children’s personal, social, and academic development. Young people who used sign switched comfortably between communication modes according to their communication partners, topics, and settings.
American Annals of the Deaf / Vol. 15, No. 5, pp.535-549