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A prototype of 'Deaffie Eddie Freddie' Photo by: Irish Independent

Irish teen invents teddy bear to teach deaf children sign language

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A prototype of 'Deaffie Eddie Freddie' Photo by: Irish Independent

An Irish teenager is developing a new teddy bear to help deaf children learn sign language.

Katie McCarthy (17) has already been in contact with numerous manufacturing companies in the UK and US about the bear’s potential.

Still in development stages, the toy will allow a child to press of pictures of objects on a screen on the bear’s body and it’s movable fingers will sign the word.

"The teddy encourages children to use their other senses so I've used different materials to develop their sense of touch so it's not all just fur," McCarthy told the Irish Independent.

The idea for the project came when she was shopping for a new toy with her 2-year-old sister Aoibheann.
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"We were in a toy shop and I met a woman who had a daughter the same age who was deaf. She told me how difficult it was to get toys specifically designed for deaf children or even suitable for them," McCarthy explained.

"I was almost reduced to tears. I thought it was so sad because my little sister has so much choice."

McCarthy who attends Presentation Secondary School in Tralee has named the bear 'Deaffie Eddie Freddie'.

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