SignSupport is an app that helps Deaf and hearing to talk to each other. Many Deaf are illiterate, which means the user interface can’t rely on text alone. With a UI based on graphics and sign language content, Deaf users can create messages that are shown as text to the people they want to talk to. The hearing counterpart can form answers that are turned into sign language videos again.
At least as interesting as working on solutions, I found defining the problem. South African Deaf people have various communication problems. Using context mapping methods like cultural probes, generative sessions and ethnography, I identified several of their communication needs. Together with my supervisors I decided to try to solve the issues Deaf people face when they go to the doctor. I created the SignSupport concept in cooperation with the stakeholders in this project in such a way that it can be applied in a wide range of scenarios.
SignSupport is under further development at the Computer Science departments of the University of Cape Town and the university of the Western Cape.
For more information, read my graduation report: The Design of a Deaf-To-Hearing Communication Aid for South Africans (PDF, 5 MB). If you need a high resolution version, please contact me.