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:
- Express allows parents to search for ASL videos by typing or saying an English word.
- Alert gives parents the chance to learn new vocabulary through a quiz-based in interface.
- Practice takes advantage of a device's front-facing camera to provide parents with the ability to record themselves signing and compare with a source video.
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
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.