"Two Purdue University professors are studying how to use computer animation and virtual reality to teach deaf children in grades K through 4 about mathematics principles, and to communicate math terminology using American Sign Language. The reason for the project is that, for deaf children, reading instruction is delayed; therefore most kids in this age group cannot use traditional textbooks. They also arenít able to take full advantage of secondary learning opportunities that non-disabled kids have, such as television and dinner table conversation, and their parents may not be fluent enough in sign language to teach them about math.
The Purdue project hopes to alleviate these challenges by allowing deaf children to learn math concepts from animated characters, who use sign language to communicate with the kids in a computer-game setting. Even more effective is extending the program into virtual reality, where the characters and the children can communicate with each other in sign language in real time, in a fully immersive environment. "