Auditory-Visual Speech Processing
(AVSP 2001)

September 7-9, 2001
Aalborg, Denmark

TAS: A New Test of Adult Speechreading - Deaf People Really can be Better Speechreaders

Tara Ellis, Mairead MacSweeney, Barbara Dodd, Ruth Campbell

University College London and University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK

A new Test of Adult Speechreading (TAS) is described. The TAS was designed for use with the born-deaf speechreader. It uses picture choice responses, and vocabulary and syntax appropriate to such users. Over 100 deaf and hearing people have so far been tested using the TAS. The pattern of performance of subsets of users is described. The effects of factors including age (18-68), gender, non-verbal IQ, education, regional speech community, language preference, and the hearing status of participants and their parents is summarised. Among the notable findings to date: in deaf but not hearing people, visible regional accent and level of education (tertiary vs. non-tertiary) affected performance markedly. Participants with similar southern regional accents to the talkers achieved higher scores than those with northern accents, and those with a tertiary level education performed better than those without. In the hearing participants, parental hearing status predicted performance (people with deaf parents were better speechreaders). Most strikingly, after close matching of deaf and hearing individuals for all psychometric and background variables, deaf participants out-performed their hearing peers by a significant margin.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Ellis, Tara / MacSweeney, Mairead / Dodd, Barbara / Campbell, Ruth (2001): "TAS: A new test of adult speechreading - deaf people really can be better speechreaders", In AVSP-2001, 13-17.