Virtual Sign Will Transform Digital Inclusion of Deaf People

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ISEP researchers have developed an innovative project in the field of intelligent inclusion. GILT  (Graphics, Interaction and Learning Technologies group) project aims to support the communication with deaf and hearing-impaired individuals.

“Create conditions to a better and higher social inclusion of deaf people”. This was the challenge that a ISEP research group set itself to solve through the creation of Virtual Sign.

Virtual Sign is a real time, bidirectional translator that takes advantage of the benefits of engineering in order to cross technological innovation potentialities with writing and Portuguese Sign Language. According to GILT researchers, this project can “revolutionise the communication with deaf people in schools, museums and other places, making technology a way to serve the community”.

The project uses a glove with sensors and also resorts to Kinect technology, moreover it incorporates a didactic game to teach sign language.

“The amount of digital learning contents specifically produced to the deaf community is very limited. On a daily basis, in classes, we see that students have difficulties and we don’t have the tools to help them in a proper way. Virtual Sign makes the access to any digital resource easier to this community, paving the way to a better and more effective answer to their needs,” says Paula Escudeiro, the project mentor.

Coordinated by ISEP, Virtual Sign was supported by Fundação Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) with 100,000 euros and included several researchers from ISEP, Universidade do Porto, Universidade Aberta and a specialist in sign language.


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