[SLED] Voice in Second Life / and Deafness

S Collingwood collingwood.7 at osu.edu
Sat Aug 4 13:19:57 PDT 2007

I don't yet have experience in working with deaf/blind students in 
SL, but I am also very interested in learning how to incorporate 
methods for these students into my virtual teaching.

I spent last summer away from my home university, and used a computer 
lab where it wasn't possible to use headphones.  At first, I thought 
it wouldn't make much difference, as SL is such a rich visual medium. 
I was really surprised to realize how much sound input we actually do 
get from SL.  Even that damned wind.  I became fascinated with the 
possibilities of sound, which I still believe is underutilized in 

I think it is possible to make an environment that is as immersive 
for the visually impaired as it is for the sighted, and I'd love to 
learn how to do this.  I also think we can make learning systems for 
the hearing impaired that will be equally rewarding -- it's just 
going to be a lot of work.

There have been a couple of times on this list over the past year or 
so when we started a conversation about disability, but it didn't 
gather momentum.  So much to do, so little time.  Still, why wait 
until we have built something we like, and then have to rethink the 
whole thing for the disabled?

Sharon (Ellie Brewster)

>I was just discussing this issue last night with someone who is interested
>an existing school in RL for the deaf and/or blind. This will be an
>incredible challenge, but certainly a worthwhile one. Good ideas will
>probably come from the RL school, as well as the SL community.
>I have worked with one student who is deaf and is in the art school in our
>College and I found out that lip reading is difficult when someone (me) has
>a moustache. We will all learn together on this one...as with much of Second
>Life.  If someone has experience in working with deaf/blind students, please
>Terry Beaubois
>Tab Scott (in SL)
>Creative Research Lab
>College of Arts & Architecture
>Montana State University
>On 8/4/07 10:48 AM, "George Self" <gself at gself.com> wrote:
>>  Folks:
>>  I've been following this discussion all week and have yet to see where
>>  anyone has addressed my concern with voice in SL. At the risk of seeming
>>  like a broken record (there's an audio-based metaphor from my past!), what
>>  are you planning to do with deaf students? There seems to be a great deal of
>>  effort to get classes into SL this fall and now we can use voice, but how
>>  will you handle the first deaf student who shows up in your SL class? With
>>  text, however slow and limited, at least hearing is not a factor.
>>  I know I cannot be the only educator in this list who has had to scramble at
>>  the start of a semester to make an accommodation for a special needs student
>>  who shows up on the first day of class. At least in the traditional
>>  classroom I can count on the services of a signer or CART transcriber for
>>  the hearing impaired. Those services will not be available in SL.
>>  So, what-cha gonna do when some avatar IMs you during your first class
>>  meeting to let you know that he/she is deaf and could you please type all of
>>  your text?
>>  Thoughts? Or are we going to just be proverbial
>>  <head-in-sand>ostriches</head-in-sand> and hope that never happens.
>>  -----
>>  SL: Wissen Shepherd
>>  RL: George Self
>>  Cochise College, Arizona, USA
>>  -----Original Message-----
>>  From: Dennis Newson [mailto:archive at dennisnewson.de]
>>  Sent: Saturday, August 04, 2007 7:55 AM
>>  To: SL Educators
>>  Subject: Re: [SLED] Voice in Second Life
>>  Can we keep our feet on the ground? Is anyone seriously suggesting that
>>  voice is unimportant in interpersonal communication? Has text messaging
>>  replaced voice messages or merely augmented them? And when it comes to
>>  language teaching voice is important because that is part of language - an
>>  important part. Anyone who has to say: "Please write it down" is
>>  disadvantaged.
>>  Dennis
>>  Dennis Newson - YL List Moderator
>>  www.iatefl-ylsig.org
>  > Research database: http://tinyurl.com/2knkl4 Research Moodle:
>>  www.elearningdesigners.nl/iatefl Files section of Yahoogroups YL homepage:
>>  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/younglearners/files/
>>  Recommended books:
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Dr. Sharon Collingwood
Department of Women's Studies
Ohio State University
286 University Hall
230 North Oval Mall
Columbus, Ohio 43210-1311

Department of French & Italian
The Ohio State University
200 Hagerty Hall
1775 College Road
Columbus, OH  43210-1340

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