This post is about one tool, a Sign Language Alphabet Mobile app, but let’s first take a step back and look at the bigger picture…The Education for All (EFA) movement is a global commitment to provide quality basic education for all children, youth and adults.” It’s interesting to note that 164 governments pledged to achieve EFA by 2015. The question that arrises though. How do we educated over a billion people within such a short period of time? Local startup AppCRAFT thinks that mobile education is the way to go.
Back in June 2010 they launched a new project that aims to bridge the huge gap between hearing and non hearing people around the world by teaching users the Sign Language Alphabet with a mobile application.
Simon Botes Founder of AppCRAFT says: “It is our belief that even if you take the time to learn only the Sign Language alphabet, it will make communicating with the deaf in your area a lot easier. Our application helps you to learn the Sign Language Alphabet. Learning the alphabet is the best place to start when learning any new language and eSign makes this process fast, easy and mobile.”
”Our earlier research found that there was nothing for the deaf in the Nokia Store. It was with this in mind that we started by creating eSign for Nokia Devices.” Says Botes. 18 months later and the free Sign Language Early Learning Applications developed by AppCRAFT have already seen 44000 downloads or “students” as Botes likes to call them and this with zero government or corporate funding.
The Sign Language Alphabet Mobile app (eSign) aids in learning sign language SPELLING in 6 localized Sign Languages and is currently available freely for Nokia S605th, Symbian^3, S40 and Meego devices including the Nokia N9 (which I’m still waiting for).
Botes concludes: “If one small african startup with a non existing budget can help 44000 people to learn something in 18months with zero funding, just image how fast we could reach those EFA goals, if we had the support of governments and or large corporations around the world.”