My interests in psycholinguistics and communication converged during a postdoctoral fellowship at the Salk Institute’s Laboratory for Language and Cognitive Studies, and later at Haskins Laboratories at Yale University, where I conducted research on the acquisition and processing of American Sign Language (ASL) and reading by deaf children and adults.  This groundbreaking research (still highly influential in the field of deaf education) demonstrated the surprising degree to which reading success among profoundly and prelingually deaf individuals is related to the existence and use of phonological mental representations.

At IBM, I collaborated with Prof Carol Padden from UCSD to develop HandsOn, a software application demonstrating how computer technology could provide a bilingual educational experience for deaf children. Combining ASL and English, it allowed a student’s skill in ASL to bootstrap the acquisition of skill in English. The technology was, for its time, state of the art (involving an object-oriented application environment, coupled to random-access laser disks, all driven by a simple touch screen user interface) and was deployed at numerous schools for deaf children both in the United States and Canada. It was recognized in 1992 as a National Merit Winner in the Johns Hopkins National Search for Computing to Assist Persons with Disabilities.

Selected Publications:



Principal Investigator, Acquisition of Literacy by Deaf Children and Adults, NIH, 2/82 – 8/89. $314,524 (original grant plus one renewal)

Principal Investigator, Reading and Writing Processes in Deaf Adults, NIE, 9/80 – 8/81. $15,000

Principal Investigator, Language Processing in the Deaf,  NIH Post-doctoral Fellowship, 9/78 – 8/80. $18,000

Research Projects Publications