In the United States, there is a large community of people who suffer from deafness and hearing loss. Among those people, most are not functionally deaf, so they possess the potential to become Bimodal Bilingual. We have found that deaf signers, hearing signers and non-signers show activation in different regions of the brain when they communicate. We also found that it is very difficult for deaf people to learn a spoken language, and it is challenging for hearing people to acquire ASL later in life. We want to research into the effects of different brain activity, and how to compensate for the different neurocognitive changes in the brain for different signers. Ultimately, we aim to introduce bridge the gap between the hearing community and the deaf community.
Two ideas in the brainstorm process that we rejected are communication among global deaf communities, and the use of sign language in children’s speech delay. The first idea is hard to research because cultures, grammar in spoken language, economy, education, and many other variables play a role in determining how signers interact. We rejected the second problem, because children who have speech delay often fall into the category of deaf people or people who have hearing loss. In our chosen moonshot problem, we also include children as people who will benefit from our solution. Thus, We did not continue with these two ideas.
Here is a link to our Moonshot Pitch Presentation: