SBIR Phase I: ASL Literacy Support System

Period of Performance: 01/01/2010 - 12/31/2010


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Institute for Disabilities Research and Training
11323 Amherst Avenue
silver spring, MD 20902
Firm POC


This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will examine the feasibility of producing a hardware/software system that will enable a user to: 1) scan paper-based text; 2) read screen-based text; and 3) type and have that text appear in software that supports it with American Sign Language graphics and video clips in real time. This software also will enable the user to edit, print, select appropriate signs when more than one match the English word, 'hide' signs when support is not wanted, retrieve sign graphics/video through an index, and generate flashcards and sign/word matching worksheets. This outcomes of this project will result in creation of a software beta version using pen scanning capabilities having 5,000 signs/words, and planning for screen reading. Many deaf children are challenged by reading since this process largely depends on auditory understanding. Teachers of the deaf frequently re-interpret text into ASL or enhance it with signs to render it more comprehensible to their students. Research has shown that incorporation of signs with text provides a multimodal approach to the development of early literacy skills that utilizes multiple intelligences and learning styles. Heretofore, the process of reinforcing text with signs has involved laborious copying, drawing, cutting, and/or pasting.