Whether you are ordering food at a restaurant, asking for directions, or receiving a phone call from a family member, it is apparent that human communication is an important part of everyday life. Those who are deaf have limited communication accessibility compared to their hearing counterparts, and by default, obtain less public information and face more obstacles during social interactions.

This thesis project will attempt to bridge this communication gap through the exploration of human interactions with user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design. The goal is to design and develop an application concept for wearable smart-technology that will utilize voice-recognition software to improve common communication interactions for the deaf. It will also play a role towards improving incidental learning, literacy, and language comprehension for the deaf.

This research will validate the need for increased accessibility, study human interactions, explore existing applications, and visualize potential technological solutions. It will also explore the language and literacy developments of deaf individuals. It will be user-centered in its approach using polls and surveys to help drive certain aspects of the application’s concept, user experience, and features. As a result of the research discoveries, an application concept will be designed strategically, developed conceptually, communicated visually, and finally prototyped through a digital platform in the form of a motion graphic.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Deaf--Means of communication--Technological innovations; Communication devices for people with disabilities; User interfaces (Computer systems)--Design; Wearable technology--Design

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Visual Communication Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CIAS)


Daniel DeLuna

Advisor/Committee Member

Nancy Ciolek

Advisor/Committee Member

Kurt Stoskopf


RIT – Main Campus

Plan Codes