ABBI’S STORY OF DISCOVERING A LOVE OF BOOKS
Abbi wasn’t born deaf, but following an illness when she was 7 months old, lost almost all of her hearing. She has a Cochlear Hearing Implant and a hearing aid, but uses Australian sign language (Auslan) as her first language for communicating with the rest of her family.
From early on, Abbi’s family, who can all hear, made a conscious decision to focus on fitting in to her life rather than making her fit in to theirs. So they learned sign language to be able to communicate. Amy admits that they are not experts, but are learning all the time.
Reading stories together is a magical experience that most families take for granted, but it has been a particular challenge for Abbi and Amy. “Getting her to sit while you read a book was impossible and she would often become frustrated. It’s difficult with a child on your lap to sign and turn pages at the same time.” – Amy, mother of Abbi.
There is also the challenge for Abbi of English being a second language and having a different structure to Auslan. This means her reading tends to be a little way behind her peers when there isn’t a signed interpretation.
“When I first saw StorySign I got goosebumps. It’s one of those things I wished was available and we were so excited to be able to access it. The app also helps us learn new signs and makes reading together a lot more fun.” - Amy
Abbi loves books now and StorySign is giving her complete access to them, which turns what was a negative experience into a really positive one for the whole family.
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