Rich Media Website Brings ASL to Life for Deaf Kids

The Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf (CCSD) and Toronto-based digital media company marblemedia have teamed up to create the first children’s animated American Sign Language (ASL) dictionary.

The dictionary will allow Deaf children to look up vocabulary according to their own, primary language – ASL along with the English vocabulary counterpart – without having to rely on adults for definitions.

Thanks to funding from the Inukshuk Wireless Learning Plan Fund, this rich media website will enable young children, parents, siblings and friends to interact with and learn through the use of live-action video and animation. The Inukshuk Wireless Learning Plan Fund supports the development of new online learning content and has committed to funding the first portion of the project.

The interactive site aims to be a shared learning environment for Deaf and hearing children, 5 to 7 years of age, along with the adults in their lives. Another key feature of the site is its ability to simultaneously enable hearing children to learn ASL by finding words according to the English alphabet in a creative way with full live-action ASL in motion rather than through photographs.

“We have a long-standing history with the CCSD that started with our TV show and website for Deaf children – deafplanet.com. It is a pleasure to be able to collaborate with them again on such an inspiring and important project,” said Mark Bishop, Partner and Executive Producer of marblemedia.

“CCSD is delighted to produce this groundbreaking learning resource with marblemedia!,” said Joanne Cripps, CYW, Co-Director, DEAF CULTURE CENTRE, Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf. “We are also engaging award-winning South African Deaf animator, Braam Jordaan and renowned ASL linguist, Dr. Sam Supalla to create what promises to be a revolutionary product!” said Dr. Anita Small, Co-Director of the DEAF CULTURE CENTRE, Canadian Cultural Society of the Deaf.

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