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“Pushing Science’s Limits in Sign Language Lexicon”

The New York Times describes the difficulty of learning science in a language that does not include many scientific terms – sign language:

“Gallaudet has tried to take a democratic approach to the problem: it collaborates on the ASL-STEM Forum, a wiki-style Web site dedicated to ‘enabling American Sign Language to grow in science, technology, engineering and mathematics’ that was set up in 2009 by researchers at the University of Washington.  Anyone can submit, critique and vote for science signs, which are demonstrated in short videos. The idea is to let those who are hearing-impaired and learning science decide which new signs should become standard.”

The ASL-STEM Forum is a project of UW CSE professor Richard Ladner and collaborators; Ladner has a long-standing interest in increasing participation in computer science and other scientific fields by the deaf and hard-of-hearing.

Read the New York Times article here.

A related NPR interview with Ladner’s Gallaudet collaborator Caroline Solomon here.

UW News article here.

December 5, 2012