Gesture, communication, and adult acquired hearing loss

Karen Sparrow, Christopher Lind, Willem van Steenbrugge

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Nonverbal communication, specifically hand and arm movements (commonly known as gesture), has long been recognized and explored as a significant element in human interaction as well as potential compensatory behavior for individuals with communication difficulties. The use of gesture as a compensatory communication method in expressive and receptive human communication disorders has been the subject of much investigation. Yet within the context of adult acquired hearing loss, gesture has received limited research attention and much remains unknown about patterns of nonverbal behaviors in conversations in which hearing loss is a factor. This paper presents key elements of the background of gesture studies and the theories of gesture function and production followed by a review of research focused on adults with hearing loss and the role of gesture and gaze in rehabilitation. The current examination of the visual resource of co-speech gesture in the context of everyday interactions involving adults with acquired hearing loss suggests the need for the development of an evidence base to effect enhancements and changes in the way in which rehabilitation services are conducted.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number106030
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Communication Disorders
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2020


    • Adult acquired hearing loss
    • Aural rehabilitation
    • Conversation
    • Gaze
    • Gesture


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