Radio Inspire

How To Learn Sign Language

Junto Ohki, Rolex Young Laureate, 2016


TOKYO, JAPAN There are 70 million people in the world
who use sign languages. They think in sign language. Whatever they visualise, they don’t
always remember the equivalent word. So in most cases, they cannot get
information they need immediately. Deaf people are living in a society
where they feel that inequality and a tremendous amount of stress. We provide a service called SLinto. It is the world’s first crowd-sourced
dictionary for sign language. It can be used by deaf people
and those that can hear. If a deaf person needs to tell
a hearing person something but doesn’t know the word, With SLinto they can look up the word. Sign language consists of four elements; the first is shape of hands,
the second is position of hands, the third is direction and the fourth is movement. We’ve made a special keyboard. From the shape and position of hands
you get a list of video options. Another problem is where new words
like brands, products and celebrities haven’t been created in sign language. We’ve built a platform
where the deaf community can create new signs
and evaluate them online. At the moment we operate only in Japan
but we aim to expand overseas. At least 126 varieties of sign languages
are confirmed to exist today. I believe SLinto can act as a bridge
to link different languages of the world. The goal of my project is to create social inclusion, a society where people who can hear and
cannot hear are given equal opportunities.

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