Since providing the range of Sign Language Interpreting Services global telecommunications giant Huawei Mobile needed to launch its revolutionary StorySign app, it has made a huge difference to deaf families in 13 different countries.
Creating the StorySign app was a complex project for all involved. After the production team had struggled to find the deaf actors, sign language interpreters and spoken language interpreters needed, they approached us for help. We like a challenge and so stepped up to the brief!
Here’s how StorySign is helping deaf children around the world develop a love of reading:
The first global literacy platform for deaf children
There’s no universal sign language so StorySign had to be developed in different sign languages. Huawei therefore needed us to find native-signing deaf actors for each language version of each book. We also had to source sign language interpreters for effective communication between the production team and the actors and, in some cases, spoken language interpreters to communicate instructions and information to the sign language interpreters. To complicate matters a little more, we had to get our team in place within two and a half weeks!
The timeline below illustrates the process in more detail:
There are 32 million deaf children in the world, but, until StorySign, many were unable to fully enjoy even the simple pleasures of reading, such as bedtime stories with their families. Using AI and augmented reality, StorySign now allows them to follow the text in printed children’s books – with ‘Star’, the StorySign avatar, signing the words on the page.
Having been impressed with the quality of our service, Huawei asked us to help promote and launch the app. We recruited deaf actors to play the role of Santa in the launch advertisement (at the top of this post) and a merry band of elves in the form of sign language and natively spoken language interpreters! We also provided language support for the script and subtitles for the ad, making the campaign far easier for Huawei to manage and launch in all territories.
Sign Language Interpreting helped make a magical Christmas experience even better
Christmas is always magical for young children and we were delighted when Huawei asked us to help make it extra-special for some StorySign users who they had invited on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Lapland. We provided sign language interpreters for two families from each European market. This meant the children could be sure that Santa knew exactly what was on their Christmas wish list and their parents could relax and enjoy the break!
Helping build StorySign’s success
Our whole team found this ongoing project rewarding from the very beginning and continuing to work closely with Aardman Animations we’ve been proud to help Huawei add even more publications to the app since its launch. StorySign users can now enjoy popular Penguin Books titles including Where’s Spot?, The Lonely Penguin, There’s A Dragon In Your Book and Max The Brave.
It’s gratifying to know that we’re helping StorySign go from strength-to-strength, opening the world of books to more and more deaf children as new titles and languages are added.
Are you using sign language to reach your target audience?
StorySign has a mission to raise awareness of deaf child literacy and to empower positive change. However, often many deaf or hard of hearing adults are overlooked by brands and organisations.
With over 11 million in the UK deaf community, could your business be communicating more effectively with this group of people? Using sign language empowers the deaf to engage more fully with your communications. From audiovisual content for marketing and PR to eLearning and training programmes, communicating with deaf people using their preferred methods can increase engagement, boost customer loyalty and differentiate your brand.
You may also be interested in this article from Joy of Android about five useful apps for deaf users or hard of hearing, there are some great suggestions to choose between.
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss ways to improve your engagement with the deaf community. In the meantime, don’t forget to read our StorySign case study featuring Spot the Dog and Peter Rabbit.