Kim Xu


The purpose of SMARTSign is to help hearing parents of deaf children learn American Sign Language (ASL). Ninety percent of deaf children are born to hearing parents and are less likely to receive exposure to language before they are of school age. This lack of language exposure can have severe consequences throughout their life.

SMARTSign currently has 3 components: Express, Alert, and Practice:

Screen shots from the three SMARTSign components

My most recent work has been in interviewing hearing parents of deaf children to understand their motivation and techniques used for learning ASL. I collected reactions by parents towards the current iteration of SMARTSign to see where the system could be improved. Parents were also asked about their mobile device ownership and usage. Progress on SMARTSign was presented at GTRIC 2011

In October 2010 I presented a paper at ASSETS on the intelligibility of signed video for novices ASL learners on mobile phones (presentation, paper).

We previously investigated the performance of SmartSign with massed practice (one long session once a day) and distributed practice (short sessions throughout the day) as well as whether a mobile or desktop implementation is better. See Valerie Henderson-Summet's PhD thesis for results of this study.

I developed the interface for a study to determine the relative difficulty of 80 signed words which are commonly used between parents and their young children. Results of the first study were presented in a poster at ASSETS 2008 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The poster can be seen here.