The Deaf Project - SignSupport

The Deaf Project run in collaboration with UWC and the grassroots NGO DCCT (Deaf Community of Cape Town) sets out to uncover design methods that enable us to provide Deaf users with a practical way of communicating and accessing knowledge in their own language, South African Sign Language (SASL).

SignSupport is a mobile application that seeks to support Deaf students learning Computer Literacy skills such as word processing, spreadsheets and web and email browsing. The application provides instructions to Deaf learners through short South African Sign language (SASL) videos coupled with images. The app is based in over a decade of research and collaboration with an interdisciplinary team comprising of Deaf users, a Deaf education specialist, industrial designers and computer scientists. The Deaf users play the steering role in the research, outlining their perspectives on how they would use the solution.

The Deaf education expert forms the link between the Deaf users and the technical team. The SignSupport project involved collaborative work between computer scientists from UCT and University of Western Cape (UWC). The aim of SignSupport is to allow Deaf people to learn computer literacy skills at their own pace, with or without the help of a teacher. Marginalised Deaf people are entitled to accessible, affordable and sustainable ICT systems.