New tech and media is evidently benefitting our lives, but is this the same case for underrepresented communities, specifically the deaf community? The world is rarely designed for the Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (HoH). To illustrate this lag in equal access, Siri took up to six years to accept text-based input as an option. In other words, there has always been a barrier for the deaf in accessing digital personal assistants. The deaf should not have to trail behind the tech movement because of their differences.
Sign’o & Sign’post are products that leverage tech to introduce new ways of communicating: the former targeting text-messaging and the latter targeting linguistic development. Sign’o is an animated sticker pack that contains animated illustrations, featuring several words in American Sign Language (ASL)—the primary language used by North American deaf communities. On the other hand, Sign’post is a web platform that acts as a catalyst for the adoption of new words into ASL by crowdsourcing input from the Deaf, where users can come to a consensus by upvoting and downvoting a sign.
One of the many goals of this project is to inspire more individuals to tap into accessible design. As designers, we should empathize with one another, see the world from another’s perspective, and strive to be inclusive in our designs in hopes of providing value in others’ lives.