The DeepSign project aims to bridge the communication gap by ensuring immediate access to automated word-to-sign translation software.
Many Languages, One Society
Wherever you turn in the world today, information and services are largely exchanged through written or spoken language. This means that, for a person with loss of written or spoken language, the world is largely inaccessible. For such an individual, sign language is often the most natural and preferred way of communicating. In everyday life, a sign language user with low or no proficiency in written or spoken language might not be able to read the news, go to a restaurant or cinema, or engage in social events without the assistance of a personal translator; a service that is commonly provided by a caretaker or family member, or which is expensive and oftentimes unavailable through the professional translation industry. In more acute situations such as medical emergencies, sign language users might experience additional risks to their health and loss of rights as a consequence of lacking verbal communication.
Bridging the Gap
The DeepSign project aspires to incite a paradigm shift in the way that sign language communities are integrated into society. We want to ensure accessibility to sign language at all levels of interaction. Our real-time, automated translator will be made available for stationary and transportable devices so that the user is in control of their own access to information, entertainment and services. Real-time translation means that sign language users can read any written text, follow news broadcasts and movies, or enroll in the standardized education system if so desired. They can attend a family gathering without fearing exclusion among their friends and extended family. As well, the private sector and governmental institutions will finally receive an effective tool to extend their services to the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities with ease and efficiency.
DeepSign will provide the first automated translation to Norwegian sign language, with solutions for both private and public use. No one should be excluded from cinemas or restaurants because they cannot easily enjoy the service. No one should have their democratic rights impaired, because the voting facilities do not provide accessible information. No one should have to endanger their health because the hospital might not accommodate sign language. The introduction of our translation tools will meet the urgent needs of the sign language community, and ensure a more accommodating society for all.