Sunday, January 01, 2006

Kool Kids Sign

Kool Kids Sign in a concept I came up with a couple years ago while interpreting for a deaf middle school student. My idea was a combination of a daily video segment and a website. The daily video segment would be only a few minutes long and would teach sign language over the school's closed circuit tv during homeroom. Along with that I thought a website would be a good idea to reinforce the daily lessons. If the schools did not have a closed circuit tv system then the tape could be shown in individual classrooms.

Well the student I was working with and a friend of hers filmed a couple weeks of video to show in school but the website never really got started. I found that I can draw some what but I am so slow that the pictures that I drew never were posted. Then I found out about Sign Smith Studio. It's an authoring program using sign language and avatars that would allow me to post the words I wanted online and moving (my drawings were not animated.) Unfortunately Sign Smith Studio is expensive, as are all authoring programs, and I could never afford it.

I may have finally found a possible way to get it. I found out about a grant that I may be able to qualify for that might work. I had thought about grants before but none would really work. The only thing is that I don't know if I would be able to sell the videos or not-which would be the ideal way to spread the program to different schools.

I came up with this idea because so many deaf students are mainstreamed with interpreters these days. As they get older they really don't want an adult around all of the time and to be perfectly honest there are somethings I really didn't want to know. By creating a way for the hearing students to learn sign language the interpreters may be able to step back. The ideal, of course, would be for the deaf student to teach their friends but many are too shy to do so. A lot of times the hearing kids will learn the alphabet and that is all. Also only the immediate friends tend to learn any sign. With this program the whole school would be able to learn signs.

The program starts off with the alphabet, then goes on to teach common phrases or requests-such as do you have paper, pencil etc. It does not concentrate on American Sign Language per se but more on functional vocabulary.

I will post my write up for the grant online as I try to refine it for the final version.

No comments: