Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Bell, Jerome

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Art


Deafness in children; Toys


The purpose of the study was to design toys for hearing impaired children that would help provide the sensorial experiences necessary for successful language development and that would also help develop the physical abilities necessary for natural sounding speech. An explanation of the methodology used to address the problem statement is presented and each phase of the project is detailed. A presentation is made of research material on the subjects of deafness, language, education of the hearing impaired, play and toys. This research is presented in the paper with an analysis of the pertinent findings. A value was assigned to the relationships of various play activities and their resulting educational benefits. The toys were then designed to utilize the strongest relationships indicated by the analysis. The research analysis indicated that the simultaneous reinforcement of music or speech with sensorial stimulation in an intact modality offered potentially enormous educational benefits. Nine original toys for hearing impaired children were designed in response to the problem statement and are described in the paper. The toys are analyzed in terms of their educational value. Toys designed to maximize the value of music and speech play include the Light Whistle, Tactile Turtle, Tactile Color Piano, Color Flute, and Tactile Light Show. Toys designed to provide increased sensorial stimulation include the Light-Sound Crib Toy, Light Rattle and Color Mixing Toy. A Finger Spelling Puzzle was designed as a language development aid and memory improvement toy. The findings of the project are summarized and recommendations for implementation of the toys into the educational curriculum are offered.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [68]-69)


69 pages




Northern Illinois University

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