Navigation Links
Crowdsourcing site compiles new sign language for math and science
Date:12/7/2012

A multimedia feature published this week in the New York Times, "Pushing Science's Limits in Sign Language Lexicon," outlines efforts in the United States and Europe to develop sign language versions of specialized terms used in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The article shares newly defined signs for terms like "light-year," "organism" and "photosynthesis." It also describes a successful crowdsourcing effort started at the University of Washington in 2008 that lets members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community build their own guide to the evolving lexicon of science.

"It's not a dictionary," explained Richard Ladner, a UW professor of computer science and engineering. "The goal of the forum is to be constantly changing, a reflection of the current use."

A scientific and technical dictionary for American Sign Language has existed since the late 1990s. It is called Science Signs Lexicon, launched by Harry Lang, an early proponent of science in the deaf community and a professor at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology.

But a dictionary can't include the newest terms, Ladner said, and many graduate students won't find the specialized terms used in their chosen fields. For example, Ladner helped organize a 2008 workshop where a deaf scientist said only about one-quarter of his field's specialized terms existed in his native language, American Sign Language, or ASL. Many workshop participants reported that at some point they had had to work with their interpreters to develop their own code words.

That year, with funding from Google Corp. and the National Science Foundation, Ladner's group launched the ASL-STEM Forum, an online compilation of signs used in science, technology, engineering and math that is more like Wikipedia or the Urban Dictionary.

"The goal was to have one place where all these signs could be," Ladner said. "We're not trying to decide on new signs but just collect the ones that are in current use."

The site lists 6,755 terms from biology, chemistry, engineering, math and computer science textbooks. Of those, about 2,800 have video entries, some with multiple entries. Partnerships with the country's two largest higher education institutions for deaf and hard-of-hearing students have helped provide content.

Collaborators include Caroline Solomon, a UW alumna and biology professor at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C., and Lang and Raja Kushalnagar at Rochester's National Technical Institute for the Deaf.

Visit the forum to see a sign for "bioengineering," "integral" and "peer-to-peer," none of which is listed in the Science Signs dictionary. Terms still seeking an ASL translation include "byte" and "eukaryote."

Anyone can visit the forum, but to add signs a user must create a free account then record a short video using a computer's camera that can be reviewed and uploaded. People also can rate and comment on signs uploaded by other users.

Ladner hopes the recent article will spur interest and encourage people to suggest more entries among the remaining terms. He is seeking funding to update the site, and hopes it will reach critical mass among ASL speakers in scientific and technical fields.

Between 2006 and 2010, U.S. institutions awarded 301 doctorate degrees in STEM fields to people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing, Ladner said. Because that number includes hard-of-hearing, the number of science PhDs who use ASL is likely much lower. Many members of that community are geographically scattered, and to make matters worse, American Sign Language and British Sign Language have their own technical lexicons.

"I hope ASL-STEM Forum helps more deaf students become scientists and engineers," Ladner said. "And as more deaf students enter these fields they will hopefully contribute to the forum, making it sustainable and useful over time."

Now working on the forum at the UW are Kyle Rector, a doctoral student in computer science and engineering, and John Norberg, a UW undergraduate in math who is minoring in ASL. Early members of the UW team include computer science and engineering doctoral students Anna Cavender, now working on accessibility projects at Google, and Jeffrey Bigham, now an accessibility researcher at the University of Rochester in New York; and former UW undergraduates Daniel Otero, Michelle Shepardson and Jessica Dewitt.

Ladner runs a national summer program to encourage deaf and hard-of-hearing students to pursue careers in computer science, and he leads AccessComputing, a larger UW-based national effort to encourage people with disabilities to pursue computing fields. His group is also involved in a number of research projects that combine computing, mobile technology and accessibility.


'/>"/>

Contact: Hannah Hickey
hickeyh@uw.edu
206-543-2580
University of Washington
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Penn Medicine contest maps 1,400 lifesaving AEDs via crowdsourcing contest fueled by smart phones
2. People in crowdsourcing challenge find defibrillators in Philadelphia
3. Speech-language researcher awarded top honors
4. A new European network crosses the boundaries for excellence in language and perception research
5. Language, immigration status of hispanic caregivers impacted care of children with cancer
6. Speed-Learning a New Language May Help Brain Grow: Study
7. Theory: Music underlies language acquisition
8. Language Barrier Hurts Elderly Asthma Patients
9. How language change sneaks in
10. Two Languages Better Than One for Kids Brains: Study
11. Body Language of Triumph Will Be on Display at Olympics
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Crowdsourcing site compiles new sign language for math and science
(Date:6/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, ... work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, healthcare costs ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... First Choice Emergency Room , the largest network of independent freestanding emergency ... its new Mesquite-Samuell Farm facility. , “We are pleased to announce Dr. Ogunleye ... M. Muzzarelli, Executive Medical Director of First Choice Emergency Room. , Dr. Ogunleye ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Conventional wisdom preaches the ... In terms of the latter, setting the bar too high can result in disappointment, ... just slow progress toward their goal. , Research from PsychTests.com reveals ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out of control. Prone to extreme mood ... something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers Marcy. “If there was a ... children and say he was going to kill them. If we were driving on ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... San Diego, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... ... up with the American Cancer Society and the Road To Recovery® program to drive ... care to seniors and other adults to ensure the highest quality of life and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Revolutionary technology includes multi-speaker listening to conquer ... in advanced audiology and hearing aid technology, has today ... world,s first internet connected hearing aid that opens up ...      (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382240 ) , ... , TwinLink™ - the first dual communication ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 The vast majority of ... dialysis facility.  Treatments are usually 3 times a week, ... visit, including travel time, equipment preparation and wait time. ... especially grueling for patients who are elderly and frail.  ... nursing and rehabilitation centers for some duration of time. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Tenn. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... automating, integrating and transforming the patient payment ... of several innovative new products and services ... of its revenue cycle offerings. These award-winning ... more efficient workflows, remain compliant in an ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: