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X. John P. Madison, Ed.D.

John P. Madison, Ed.D., Department of English, National Technical Institute for the Deaf, stated that low literacy is a problem for the general population as well as for persons who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. He emphasized that low literacy does not mean low understanding, if appropriate communication processes are used. Using sign language to interpret oral language is different from reading an informed consent form and having someone sign. Even if forms are simplified and sign language is used, there still may be semantic and syntactic problems that are barriers to communication. The ability to read and understand abstract language may be compromised for those whose hearing loss occurs early in life. If hearing loss occurs in later life, the subject's understanding of the English language has already been established and fewer misunderstandings may occur.


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