Assistive technology in the educational field for deaf students



LIMA, Eliane Maria dos Santos [1]

LIMA, Eliane Maria dos Santos. Assistive technology in the educational field for the deaf student. Revista Científica Multidisciplinar Núcleo do Conhecimento. Year 05, Ed. 06, Vol. 06, pp. 66-74. June 2020. ISSN: 2448-0959, Access link:


This work was developed from a research based on authors who discuss assistive technology in the Education of the Deaf, this objective to investigate the contributions of these technologies in the teaching process learning of people with hearing impairment and deaf people within schools. And specifically aims to analyze its relevance in the construction of deaf students’ learning, verifying the use of this tool as mediation in the inclusion of people with deafness or hearing impairment. From the data obtained, we detected that schools that work with Assistive Technologies, students with disabilities have a greater independence, quality of life and social inclusion, through the expansion of their communication, learning skills and work. New technologies have been fundamental to this path of discoveries, inclusion and also overcoming obstacles, to gradually integrate and socialize the student as well as the school staff to him.

Keywords: Inclusion, deaf, Assistive Technology.


Technologies are inserted in the most diverse daily contexts of humanity, as a continuous means of solving their needs and thus solving problems, removing barriers and simplifying actions and activities. Thus, the present study considers the importance of the use of these Assistive Technology in the educational scope for deaf or hearing impaired students who previously had restricted access to knowledge, because they did not enter these media.

According to the Portal Educação (2019), throughout the history of Deaf Education, they suffered prejudices from the most diverse, and even were excluded from social life and prohibited from exercising rights such as: receiving inheritances and marriage. Thus, our research contributes to visualize some topics, and analyze the inclusion process of students with deafness and hearing impairment in a regular classroom.

It is of paramount importance to emphasize that Assistive Technologies, when well enjoyed by teachers can mutually support the teaching process of deaf or hearing impaired students, thus resignifying the inclusion process through technological tools and resources that value their identity as deaf subjects endowed with their own culture.

Therefore, our intention is to emphasize, the teacher who works together with assistive technologies has the function of mediating knowledge making possible to students with hearing impairment and deafness the communication with the world around them, collaborating to meet all their difficulties, and thus contribute significantly to their intellectual growth, thus giving them the opportunity to express their feelings through contact with the most diverse textual genres.


The present work was developed through a bibliographic research of qualitative nature based on the authors Morais, Morais and Oliveira, from this methodology it is possible to analyze the use of Assistive Technologies in the education of the deaf, which are effective in order to guarantee the student the necessary conditions for their full participation in society, thus ensuring equality with the other members of the community in which they live , with the promotion of opportunities for personal, educational, social and professional development.  The bibliographic research, according to Gil (2008, p. 50) “is developed from material already elaborated, consisting mainly of books and scientific articles” and has as main benefit to expand the research field of the researcher, which would not be possible in a direct research. Within this proposal, we use research in scientific journals that address the theme studied, thus enriching the data for analysis of the problem situation, using as a basis studies published in articles by the authors already mentioned above.


The theoretical framework of this research begins with a brief trajectory on the historical process of deaf education. There are many sources that rethink us to this panorama and many lead us to inaccurate information about the deaf in antiquity. Given this context, there are many questions about how this process occurred, but with conviction we only have that according to the history of Deaf Education in the world they were totally marginalized. Throughout history, they continued to suffer prejudices of all kinds, being commonly excluded from social life and prohibited from exercising rights such as: the receipt of inheritances and marriage (PORTAL EDUCAÇÃO, 2019).

In order to reflect on this hostile educational trajectory and also understand some divergences that currently penetrate the Education of the Deaf, we emphasize that for many years the deaf were considered as beings unable to exercise any kind of activity in society, such as in ancient Greece where these were regarded as insensitive and irrational.  At that time, they were treated as incompetent beings and that, because they did not possess a language, they were not able to reason. Thus, they had no rights, were marginalized and often sentenced to death (PORTAL EDUCAÇÃO, 2012).

We enter this history and thus assimilate information that leads us to the context of marginalization not only of the deaf individual, but of people with disabilities in general, but we highlight in this work the “deaf-mutes”, denomination of the time. These individuals were treated in different ways in some regions around the world, one, treated them as punishments of the Gods, others as supernatural beings, and even as blessed beings.  Many were the atrocities committed to the deaf on this long journey, many were abandoned to their own fate, others sacrificed, undomesticated, treated with gestures of charity, piety, rejection. This is how the history of Deaf Education in the World, which we know today, emerged.

In this context, we aimed to research which assistive technologies (AT) could attribute to the deaf individual, means favorable to their development process in a hearing society, means that were strong allies to the education professionals within the school space. According to research, we can find technological means that mutually favor this group both inside and outside the School.

Thus, we start by reflecting on the use of these technologies in the personal life of the deaf individual, because thanks to you are identified the degrees of deafness, and thus the sound can be categorized by frequency, amplitude and timbre, mediating hearing between frequencies 250 to 8.00 Hertz (Hz) and its amplitude limits from 0 to 110 decibels (dB) therefore, the sound began to be evaluated using the frequencies of 500, 1,000 and 2,000 Hz, evaluated by audiometry tests (BRASIL, 2006)

With such information about hearing loss, it is notorious that assistive technology favored the process of education of the deaf, because from then on, technologies were elaborated to health this hearing loss of the deaf individual. We know that the human being needs hearing for the acquisition of sound, but, in the face of those who present difficulties in assimilation and understanding of these, assistive technologies at AT have emerged as facilitating means in educational and social life. Aware of the importance of AT in the general context of modern humanity these today become the basis of everything in our lives, and the deaf community has proposed advances that have effectively guaranteed them their full participation in the listening society.

The possibilities of taking advantage of new technologies do not only apply to education, but to the universe of coexistence with the external environment, the equipment favors the adaptation of the body to communication with the external world, and from the point of view of the deaf the use of the computer and the Internet has built a bridge with new possibilities of communication, being delivered as a gift (OLIVEIRA , 2010).

Thus, the teaching process learning over time, has been available through assistive technologies, to education professionals effective methods that favor the learning of the deaf, leading them to develop their reading (signaled) and written practices (Portuguese).  Therefore, AT emerge as a potentiating means of learning, as an innovative educational process that, provide a visual world for the deaf, providing them with numerous changes in their process of acquiring the L1 language.

Thus, we decided to list a series of technological tools that help the deaf in their daily lives in general:

✓ TDD (telecommunication equipment for the deaf is a device that connected to the phone, transforms the phrases spoken by the interlocutor into written messages):

✓ Rybená Free program, installed on cell phone:

✓ SMS:

✓ Closed Caption or hidden caption is a subtitle transmission system can be played to a TV that has a function to do so:

✓ Video conferencing:

✓ ProDeaf :

✓ Digital books:

✓ Tblets and Smartphones:

✓ Hand Talk mobile app:

In view of what has been exposed, we can perceive the multitude of technological means that emerged in general with the advent of AT but which mutually favored the hearing difficulties of the deaf individual in society, especially in school, because they guaranteed them a meaningful learning. Thus, it is evident that the technology assisted in the educational field for the deaf student is a powerful instrument, because it has means that favor not only the learning process of the deaf, but also its communication.

Technologies emerged and began to guarantee great possibilities of access to knowledge as a whole, and in this perspective it was possible to describe relevant aspects for supporting deaf education.


The use of Assistive Technology in the school environment, based on the analyses of the authors studied, contributed significantly to the teaching process of the deaf individual, giving them autonomy, and guaranteed them in fact a significant inclusion.

According to this koch vision (2013, p.11) brings us this concept.

In this perspective, new communication technologies play a vital role in this process. Thus, it is considered a challenge to problematize and investigate educational practices in order to enrich them and thus propose whenever possible new knowledge for teachers, who will be investigating and reflecting their teaching action, seeking new teaching strategies, so that the student becomes significantly aware of the knowledge elaborated through the technologies of daily school.

Thus, the school should be attentive to these technologies in order to facilitate and guarantee this acquisition of knowledge, which can be better explored when education professionals have foundations about the classification of hearing loss, thus facilitating the acquisition of means that will favor the continuous assimilation of learning.

In the following table we can also classify the type of deafness that varies from mild to profound, as well as categorizing sound and thus AT can not only assist education professionals in a more specific way according to each classification, but may emerge new technologies to overcome difficulties arising from each group:

Table 1 ( Classification, degrees of loss and characteristics of hearing loss)

Classification Loss Features
Take 20 to 40 dB Individuals who have certain limitations in assimilating all sounds, but assimilate the language naturally, when it is in the assimilation phase of the language can exchange some sounds and letters that present similarities.
Moderate 20 to 70 dB Individuals who have difficulties in understanding more complex sentences, requiring haughty in the voice to be able to understand well.
Severe 70 to 90 dB The individual to be heard needs a strong voice, and understanding the language required visual resources
Deep More than 90 dB The individual does not present the acquisition of oral language for this reason do not assimilate or develop oral communication.

Source: (Davis and Silverman, 1978).

Another relevant factor is the availability of adaptation of technological and accessibility didactic resources to enable the realization and participation of students with and without disabilities in the activities developed in the school environment. Like the visual perception that is of paramount importance for the teaching process learning of the deaf individual, such as the use of data show for slideshow with images related to the content worked by the teacher and thus facilitating the understanding and acquisition of programmatic knowledge.

In this context, it was clear that, when the use of Assistive Technology devices is put into practice at school, they contribute significantly to the improvement of the learning of deaf or hearing impaired students, in addition to providing playful and dynamic classes. Thus, the school guaranteed communication accessibility to all its students, and the teacher assumes the role of mediator because the use of technological equipment in this school space leads to the cognitive, intellectual and cultural development of its members.

Another relevant factor that may favor the acquisition process of the deaf individual is, to have knowledge about the degrees of hearing loss, through the categorization of the sound that is evaluated by means of its frequency, amplitude and timbre, being evaluated by audiometric tests ranging between the frequencies of 250 to 8.00 Hertz (Hz) and its amplitude limits from 0 to 110 decibels (dB).

Table 2: Degrees of Hearing Loss (BRASIL, 2006)

Classification Decibels
Normal limits 0 to 25
Slight loss 26 to 40
Moderate Loss 41 to 70
Severe Loss 71 to 90
Deep Loss Over 90

Source: (Davis and Silverman, 1978).

Thus, there are numerous elements that are at our entire disposal both inside and outside the school that will facilitate pedagogical practices for the teaching process of learning the deaf individual, starting from the simplest the most complex AT, such as the Writing of the Sign Language, which may be a theme addressed in other works but, which all emerge in order to promote accessibility and inclusion of the deaf to the world of Literature.


Thus, we infer that the process of development of human beings asnated from the interaction of each one with the environment in which he lives, and the use of Assistive Technologies in the educational sphere came as a technological resource that enables this development, optimizing the potentialities of each student.

From the results found we understand that the use of this methodology by these devices emerged as a facilitating and effective means of the deaf community, because it contributes not only to the teaching process of learning students with specific educational needs but also to the deaf student.

Thus, we emphasize that this learning process cannot be defined as restricted, because it composes an inclusive curriculum and cannot be treated in a dissociated way in the classroom. The school needs to receive the student regardless of their conditions, even if there is insufficient availability of resources to meet its specificities, it is necessary that teachers and the school community seek knowledge about the breadth and importance of the use of Assistive Technology for deaf individuals. Since, the use of these devices allows the overcoming of the limitations and communication barriers found in the daily activities of the school space.

The studies carried out for the implementation of this work, leads us to perceive the technological advances in the regular public education system, enabling and effecting the access of the deaf community to this space, which every day is increasingly preparing to become an environment that welcomes everyone, effecting a just and egalitarian society that guarantees in fact an Education for all.


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[1] Postgraduate in Brazilian Sign Language, graduation in Pedagogy and Letters.

Enviado: Fevereiro, 2020.

Aprovado: Junho, 2020.


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