Baby Soundscapes Project

UCL Ear Institute

Baby Soundscapes Project

Researchers at the UCL Ear Institute are doing some research about how deaf babies access sound around them. This is called the Baby Soundscapes project. If you are a parent of a young deaf infant aged 3 to 18 months, read on to find out more about the project and how you can get involved.

It is important that babies hear speech well in order for them to learn language and speech themselves. They also need to hear sounds in the environment to learn about the world around them, such as birdsong, music, toys, pets, household noises and other sounds in their everyday lives. Hearing babies easily hear the world around them while deaf babies only tend to hear well when sounds are close to them. It can be hard for them to notice the sounds that are further away and so they might miss out on learning about what those sounds mean.

Many young deaf children already benefit from using remote microphone technology (commonly known as radio aids) to help them hear speech better when in noisier situations. We know from research that preschool children can benefit particularly from remote microphone technology use in their playgroups or pre-schools and in places like playgrounds, or in the car.

But there is no research yet to show if and how very young deaf children - babies and toddlers - might benefit from using the technology. We want to look at how they access all sounds, as well as speech, that are important for their development. We also want to explore if and how microphone technology might help.

The National Deaf Children’s Society and the UCL Ear Institute are doing some research about how deaf babies access the sounds around them, and we are asking for your help to do this. If you would like to find out more about our study and take part, please follow the link below or talk to you Teacher of the Deaf.