SASL Journal Vol. 1, No. 1 - Page 44

Reading Methodology for Deaf Children Supalla within single graphemes played a key role, which helped dramatically reduce the number of graphemes in comparison to Mimography. The same holds true for the location and movement parameters (see S. Supalla et al., 2014 for further discussion on the ASL-phabet as a system). Teachers at the Arizona charter school found themselves teaching phonics in ASL owing to some phonological ambiguity in how signs are written based on the ASL-phabet. For example, the handshape grapheme for CAT, B represents two handshapes, not one. As shown in Figure 2, these two handshapes are closely related sounds with a slight difference in how the hand is shaped. Deaf children at the school were taught about sound representation in the handshape parameter. The same holds true for the location parameter. While the location grapheme for CAT is 2 (as the sign is produced on the cheek), other signs produced on the mouth or on the chin will use the same location grapheme. The grapheme 2 represents a more general location area of the cheek, mouth, and chin. Similar types of phonics lessons were taught on movement for the ASL-phabet as well. Since deaf children were expected to use the RB on a regular basis, they had to understand how the ASL-phabet worked and teaching phonics was critical for their success. Figure 2: Two handshapes (one with rounded and one with pinched fingers) grouped for the representation of a single grapheme for the ASL-phabet Some of the overall