SignSupport is an app that helps Deaf and hearing to talk to each other. Many Deaf are illiterate, so the user interface can’t rely on text. SignSupport uses graphics and sign language video in the UI instead. Deaf users can use it to create messages that are shown as text to the hearing 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 researching the problem. South African Deaf people have various communication challenges. I used context mapping methods like cultural probes, generative sessions and ethnography to identify their communication needs. Based on that, I decided to address the issues Deaf people face when going 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 Storyboard
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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, 34 MB).