Born profoundly deaf, EJ underwent Auditory Brainstem Implant (ABI) surgery in February 2016, where the doctors inserted an electronic device to transmit auditory signals directly to the brainstem. Despite specialized training and therapies, which have been ongoing since the surgery, listening to sound in a meaningful way is still a long way to go for EJ.
Sound Toy for EJ is designed as a playful training tool which aims to provide EJ and other children who are hard of hearing a multi-sensory and spatial environment to interact with sound. While most of the traditional trainings focus on perception of human voices, Sound Toy for EJ takes a supplementary approach to focus on natural sounds and spatial hearing.
Juri is developing the project in the Bionic Ear Research Lab led by Raymond Goldsworthy, an Associate Professor of Otolaryngology in the Keck School of Medicine and a specialist in auditory perception.