Webbinarium: From bodily experiences to meaning construction
How do we communicate with someone without using our vision or hearing? There are many ways for communication partners to support and help develop tactile language in dialogue with a person with congenital deafblindness. Our webinar series based on the book If you can see it, you can support it continues with this part, focusing on how we create meaning from our physical, bodily experiences.
From bodily experiences to meaning construction
Lecturer: Kirsten Costain, National unit for combined visual and hearing loss and deafblindness, Statped, Oslo, Norway
This webinar takes a specific case as a starting point and describes what a child with congenital deafblindness does when he discovers a «something» new while on a walk in the woods with his teacher. Kirsten Costain will discuss perception by depicting how the child Jimmy appears to engage in a process of reflection or categorization of this something new, using a sign he has made himself that refers to an aspect of his experience of being pushed in his stroller. He seems to be referring to how the new thing connects with other experiences he has had with bouncing, specifically bouncing on a trampoline in the gym, something he is also able to do on the new thing, a small wooden footbridge over a stream.
But what is this «something new» for Jimmy? What is it he appears to be thinking about, and commenting on to himself in the process? This webinar is a reflection over the incident, where we ask two questions: 1) does the bridge appear for Jimmy as an object or thing, an experience he is categorizing, a quality of the world (bounciness), a combination of elements of all of these?; and 2) would Jimmy have discovered the new thing/experience/feature and engaged in the process of reflection or categorization he seems to present at all if he had not had many other (partner-facilitated) experiences of other aspects of the world beforehand that have relevance for this new thing/experience?
Perspectives on objective perception from Merleau-Ponty and Heidegger may be helpful in maintaining space around these issues and help us to find a pragmatic and dynamic balance between trying to find “the” (non-existent) single answer to such questions and refusing to try to answer them at all.
The lecture is based on chapter 12 in the book If you can see it, you can support it – A book on tactile language. Prepare by reading the chapter.
Other parts of the webinar series Tactile Language
Tactile Language Part 1: A circle model
Tactile Language Part 2: Partners' contribution to language development in a bodily tactile modality
Tactile Language Part 3: When Trine says GRANDMA… What is on her mind?
Tactile language Part 4: Language must be sensorily accessible
Tactile Language Part 5: Language development through outdoor activities
Tactile Language Part 7: Illustrations of Multi-party Communication
November 4, 13-14 CEST
Tactile Language Part 8: We hear with our brains
December 9, 13-14 CEST
Senior Advisor, National unit for combined visual and hearing loss and deafblindness, Statped, Norway.