Today, around one million people use American Sign Language (ASL) as their main way to communicate, according to Communication Service for the Deaf. Used by the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities, as well as those with communication disorders, in recent years it has received more resources and attention both online and in popular culture.
Wearable technologies that claim to translate ASL overlook the intricacies of the language, as well as the needs of signers.
While this Starbucks looks like every other outlet of the coffee chain, mermaid logo, mugs for sale, baristas in bright green aprons, there’s one thing that makes it very special. Every single employee here is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL).
The Science of Learning Center on Visual Language and Visual Learning (VL2) at Gallaudet University has released the first of a series of three bilingual storybook apps that will simultaneously help children learn American Sign Language (ASL) and English. The app includes an original story told in both ASL and English, colorful illustrations, easy & accessible navigation designed for children, interactive narrative with direct English to ASL vocabulary video translation, audio voice-over provided for all vocabulary words, and an 170-word ASL and spoken English glossary. Learning both American Sign Language and English at the same time, through a bilingual approach, has been shown to provide cognitive, language, and reading advantages for young children.