Business Irish

Wednesday 17 July 2019

Huawei investing further €440,000 into StorySign app to improve story time for deaf children

Louise Kelly

Louise Kelly

Huawei is investing an additional €440,000 into its StorySign campaign to help deaf children across Europe learn to read.

The tech giant first launched the AI-powered app that aims to improve story time for deaf children and their parents last December.

StorySign features an avatar called Star, who helps translate the story into sign language in real time when hovered over.

As part of its partnership with the European Union of the Deaf, Huawei will be funding four new books to add to the StorySign library.

The app is available for free in Ireland now, and features the ‘Where’s Spot’ book by Eric Hill, with the new books to be ready by end 2019.

Executive Director, European Union of the Deaf, Mark Wheatley said that they want to continue collaborating with Huawei on the campaign.

"As a learning tool, the app not only helps deaf children learn and enjoy how to read, but also helps parents learn how to sign - it has the potential to redefine our understanding of how we most effectively teach and engage with sign language, not only for families with deaf children, but also the wider community that are keen to develop a basic knowledge of sign language," he said.

Recent research carried out by Huawei showed that parents of deaf children in Ireland spend more time reading to their children each day than parents of hearing children.

But, as sign has no written form as there is no direct English word-for-word translation, this can pose a huge challenge to deaf children learning to read.

StorySign can be downloaded for free from Google Play Store and the Huawei AppGallery in ten markets across Western Europe.

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