SignLab

About the Project

This project is one of the 2020 WISE Awards finalists. 

SignLab’s digital platform has the potential to make learning sign language more accessible, more effective and more affordable. It’s innovative sign language learning platform can be accessed anywhere, online or offline, by anyone with a mobile phone. Integrated videos help understand these languages focused on the visual and gestural, while our AI ensures signs are not only learnt, but retained over time.

Context and Issue

Today fewer than 10% of the 64 million parents to deaf and hard of hearing children know sign language, due to the low availability of education centers. This leaves millions of children unable to communicate with their own family and more than 90% are out of school. Deaf children are more than twice as likely to be abused as hearing children. Young deaf women and girls face the most acute challenges. 

Solution and Impact 

SignLab’s digital platform has the potential to make learning sign language more accessible, more effective and more affordable. It’s innovative sign language learning platform can be accessed anywhere, online or offline, by anyone with a mobile phone. Integrated videos help understand these languages focused on the visual and gestural, while our AI ensures signs are not only learnt, but retained over time.

The platform launched in Norway in December 2018 and rapidly expanded, with the number of users per month growing on average by 276% in the first three months. By the end of 2019, it had become the largest learning platform for Norwegian Sign Language. Today, it is used by families, friends, teachers, interpreter students, and in traditional sign language classes all over Norway. 

Since our its launch in Norway, the platform has taught over 800 000 signs and sentences in Norwegian Sign Language to ten thousand people including over 2000 friends and family members of deaf children. In 2020, we  teams were established in China, India and Indonesia. 

Future Developments 

In 2021, the platform will expand to China, India and Indonesia, thus providing over 60% of the world’s deaf population, along with their families, schools and communities with access to a sign language by 2022. Based on the growth in user numbers seen in Norway during the 18 months following the app’s launch, more than 400 000 families with deaf children will be able to learn a sign language and so communicate properly with their children. With the help of NORAD, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation, this project should reach over 4.1 million people, enabling them to learn a sign language for the first time. We will also expand to France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.

May 05, 2020 (last update 12-22-2020)