[games_access] Technique links words to signing

d. michelle hinn hinn at uiuc.edu
Sun Sep 16 20:57:03 EDT 2007


I agree, the deaf community that signs is one that GREATLY values
signing as an independent language. Medical technologies such as the
cochlear implants have been VERY controversial amongst this
population, as people feel like the language of their culture is
being endangered. This has led to some tough decisions by parents
partially hearing children -- I've been told that it's akin (but not
exactly) to having your child learn to speak french exclusively when
you and your spouse speak german exclusively. Many in the deaf
signing community are extremely proud of their culture and so
additional concerns come into play when a culture is threatened.
There is a deaf university in Washington DC (Gallaudet -
http://www.gallaudet.edu/) and I grew up interacting with quite a few
people who almost exclusively signed. I was told that the reading of
English (and any other written/spoken language) when you cannot hear
the words in your head is greatly difficult.

I guess I would think about it the way the non-deaf learn to speak
and later learn to spell and read. If you grow up signing rather than
speaking, the written language could be seen as completely foreign
and not as rich as the level of emotion that can be displayed through
signing. Think about the times when you couldn't tell if a writer was
sad, happy, angry, sarcastic, or what when reading a textbook.

There are a lot of interesting books about deaf culture that I'd be
glad to pass along the titles of if you are interested in learning
more.

Michelle


>There are different sign languages, British is different from American

>and so on throughout different parts of the world.

>

>The reason they want to use visual signs instead of text is that it

>truly is a different language with its own grammar structure and

>rules. It's not a simple matter to translate signs to text and vice

>versa. People that are born deaf and grow up to learn sign language

>often have great difficulty reading text in English or other

>languages.

>

>-Reid

>

>On 9/16/07, Eelke Folmer <eelke.folmer at gmail.com> wrote:

>> Hi Barrie,

>>

>> Very interesting but unless you use mechanical puppets to animate the

>> sign language in a non digital environment, wouldn't it just be easier

>> to just use text? e.g. render subtitles on a screen? Or am I missing

>> something here? Is sign language the same for different languages or

>> is it universal?

>>

>> Cheers Eelke

>>

>>

>>

>>

>> On 9/15/07, Barrie Ellis <barrie.ellis at oneswitch.org.uk> wrote:

>> >

>> >

>> >

>> > A group of students working for IBM develops technology that automatically

>> > converts the spoken word to British Sign Language.

>> >

>> > Technology that translates spoken or written words into British Sign

>> > Language (BSL) has been developed by researchers at IBM.

>> >

>> > The system, called SiSi (Say It Sign It) was created by a group

>>of students

>> > in the UK.

>> >

>> > SiSi will enable deaf people to have simultaneous sign language

>> > interpretations of meetings and presentations.

>> >

>> > It uses speech recognition to animate a digital character or avatar.

>> >

>> > IBM says its technology will allow for interpretation in

>>situations where a

>> > human interpreter is not available.

>> >

>> > It could also be used to provide automatic signing for

>>television, radio and

>> > telephone calls.

>> >

>> > 'Disenfranchised citizens'

>> >

>> > The concept has already gained the approval of the Royal

>>National Institute

>> > for Deaf people (RNID).

>> >

>> > "RNID welcomes any development that would make the information society a

>> > more equal place for deaf and hard of hearing people," said the charity's

>> > director of new technologies, Guido Gybels.

>> >

>> > "Sign language users are among the most disenfranchised citizens

>>as a result

>> > of services and products not being designed with their needs in mind."

>> >

>> > But Mr Gybels says there is still a long way to go before such prototypes

>> > are in everyday use.

> > >

>> > IBM runs a yearly initiative called Extreme Blue which invites

>> > technically-minded and business students to collaborate for 12 weeks.

>> >

>> > "We had a profoundly deaf mentor, so he kept a close eye on what was being

>> > done and checking whether our translation corresponded to real BSL," said

>> > Maria Vihljajeva, the student who developed the business plan for SiSi.

>> >

>> > The students used two signing avatars developed by the University of East

>> > Anglia.

>> >

>> > One of them signs in BSL and the other uses Sign Supported

>>English - a more

>> > direct translation using conventional syntax and grammar.

>> >

>> > Converting SiSi to use other languages should also be straightforward,

>> > according to Tom Klapiscak, another student who had technical

>>input into the

>> > project.

>> >

>> > "We designed the SiSi architecture in such a way that new translation

>> > modules can easily be plugged into the system," he said.

>> >

>> > "Obviously this would involve the work of creating the translation module

>> > itself - which is no small task."

>> >

>> > Mr Gybels of the RNID says he is "very impressed" with what the students

>> > were able to achieve in just twelve weeks.

>> >

>> > "Creating a system that can actually bridge the gap between hearing people

>> > who speak English and deaf people who use BSL is very important."

>> >

>> >

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>> >

>> > Via BBC:

>> > http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6993326.stm

>> > _______________________________________________

>> > games_access mailing list

>> > games_access at igda.org

>> > http://seven.pairlist.net/mailman/listinfo/games_access

>> >

>> >

>>

>>

>> --

>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

>> Eelke Folmer Assistant Professor

>> Department of CS&E/171

>> University of Nevada Reno, Nevada 89557

>> Game interaction design www.helpyouplay.com

>> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

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