To break the silence of deaf

The Research Laboratory UTIC, University of Tunis, Tunisia


Animation solver based on IK for signing avatars

Multimedia Courses Generator for deaf children

Courses Generator is an environment developed to aid deaf people in improving their social integration & communication capabilities. In fact, it is proved that sign language is not innate at deaf children and therefore it needs methodic and specific training. In this context, our environment is a specialized learning content management system (LCMS) that generates multimedia courses to teach and learn sign language. According to our survey we did not find an LCMS witch can help teachers to generate courses to person with hearing disability. Moreover our tool is original in case that the sign animation is generated automatically from a textual description. The generated courses can be used either by deaf pupils to learn (or e-learn) sign language or also by hearing people to be able to communicate with deaf people. This educational environment uses mainly a web-based interpreter of sign language developed in our research laboratory and called Websign. It is a tool that permits to interpret automatically written texts in visualgestured- spatial language using avatar technology.

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A sign language screen reader for deaf

Screen reader technology has appeared first to allow blind and people with reading difficulties to use computer and to access to the digital information. Until now, this technology is exploited mainly to help blind community. During our work with deaf people, we noticed that a screen reader can facilitate the manipulation of computers and the reading of textual information, so we propose a novel screen reader dedicated to deaf.
The output of the reader is a visual translation of the text to sign language. The screen reader is composed by two essential modules: the first one is designed to capture the activities of users (mouse and keyboard events).
For this purpose, we adopted Microsoft MSAA application programming interfaces. The second module, which is in classical screen readers a text to speech engine (TTS), is replaced by a novel text to sign (TTSign) engine. This module converts text into sign language animation based on avatar technology.

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MMS SIGN: SIGN LANGUAGE MMS to make cell phones accessible

Cell phones became extremely popular devices considering their vast utility world wide. However, making cell phones accessible to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community is still a challenge. Main available products on the market for this community offer no more than the possibility to boost/amplify volume. Many cellular provides individual cell phone models which are hearing aid compatible and possess speakerphone capabilities. However, if the user is completely deaf, these phones still tend to be somewhat complex or impossible to use.

Another alternative, based on Video phones messages, are quickly widespread as the preferred method of communicating for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. However Video phones require significant computer processing power to compress and decompress video in real time. Nevertheless, this alternative still has to overcome the various technological challenges associated with utilizing video phone technology, especially via low bandwidth network.

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