Dear Signing Time Families,
A research team from Brigham Young University is looking for young volunteers for a new study about how deaf and hard of hearing children learn language. They will apply their findings to exciting new educational tools like Signglasses to help deaf children learn to read. Details appear below. If you can help, contact Nathan Bench at

Volunteer Requirements

  • Currently 8-10 years
  • Born deaf or became deaf before age 2
  • Willing and able to undergo an MRI
  • Does not have cochlear implants (due to strong magnetic field MRI emits)
  • Can travel to BYU, Provo for a one-hour research session

Research Purpose

Our new research deals with the cognitive processes between deaf and speaking children on how language is processed and perceived.

Session Tasks

We will be using the new MRI facility at BYU to assess the similarities and differences between deaf and speaking children through a series of tasks that focus on different ways to represent an object/concept:

  • image
  • sign
  • written word
  • spoken word

During each phase of the task they will be asked to think of a verb for each object. For example, they see an image of an ‘apple’, a verb they may think of is ‘eat’.

The MRI will be able to scan and record the active parts of the brain during these tasks that we can then analyze to determine how deaf and speaking children processed those tasks.

Our hope is that by understanding how each of these representations are perceived and understood, we can then develop educational tools that deaf children can use in both the classroom and at home.

Session Length

Each session will last one hour with about 30-40 minutes of that being in the MRI scanner. There is very minimal risk involved.

Session Compensation

  • Each participant will be compensated with a $20 gift card regardless if the session is completed or not.
  • If the families live outside a 1 to 1.5 hour drive from campus, travel will be compensated.