By Ison Rocky A
Learning to read can be a difficult task in itself for a lot of children, but even more so for deaf and hard-of-hearing children who can’t hear the subject matter explained to them. The fact that 90% of deaf children are born to hearing parents who might not even know sign language is a contributing factor to the issue.
This is a problem that desperately needs specialist interventions and that’s why Huawei, in partnership with experts and charities like the European Union of the Deaf and the British Deaf Association, worked on the creation of StorySign.
StorySign is a free app designed specifically to help deaf and hard-of-hearing kids enjoy bedtime stories and helping them learn how to read at the same time. While it gives more children the opportunity to enjoy a good bedtime story, it will also address the problems associated with connecting sign language to the written word. It was developed with Huawei AI technology and is available to everyone on Android through the Google Play Store.
The app reads selected children’s books, including classic children’s books from Penguin Random House, and translates them into sign language to help deaf children learn how to read. The app kicks off with the classic children’s tale, ‘Where’s Spot?’ and will have more stories available soon. There’s even a StorySign avatar named Star, designed by Aardman Animations.
It might be a small step in the right direction, but this and other endeavors will go a long way in changing the story of deaf literacy. You can even help by donating to Huawei’s charity partners in support of literacy programs, as well as the future development of StorySign.
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