The study investigated the initial effects of the implementation of vibrotaclilc support on the individual's speech perception ability. Thirty-two subjects participated in the study; 16 with an acquired deafness and 16 with normal hearing. At a general level, the results indicated no immediate and direct improvement as a function of the implementation across all speech perception tests. However, when the subjects were divided into Skilled and Less Skilled groups, based on their performance in the visual condition of each test, it was found that the performance of the Skilled subjects deteriorated while that of the Less Skilled subjects improved when tactile information was provided in two conditions (word-discrimination and word-decoding conditions). It was concluded that tactile information interferes with Skilled subjects’ automaticity of these functions. Furthermore, inter-correlations between discrimination and decoding tasks suggest that there arc similarities between visually and tactilely supported speechreading in how they relate to sentence-based speechreading. Clinical implications of the results were discussed.
- vibrotactile support