New Signs Created to Communicate Science in ASL

Did you know that most versions of sign language do not have established vocabularies for scientific terms? In an effort to change this, reseachers at the University of Washington have been developing these terms, and with the help of Lydia Callis (the amazing ASL interpreter who we saw beside Mayor Bloomberg during Hurricane Sandy), they’re going to teach you how science works in American Sign Language.

Because the deaf community need these signs to be useful in their every day lives, the University of Washington has been showing different versions of the same terms on their ASL-STEM forum. Then users can vote on which sign they prefer for any given word, allowing the community to chose what is right for their language. This type of crowd-sourcing in the development of new terminology is made possible largely throught he advances the internet has provided us.

With any luck, these terms will make it much easier for those with hearing impairment of any kind to pursue classes and careers in science and engineering! Which is amazing. Go science!

Check out the article detailing these devlopments, an watch the video that shows you how to sign these new terms (or you can check out their cool gif versions) over at the New York Times.

Stubby the Rocket has also created a new language, but hasn’t yet developed a word for airlock, which makes things difficult.


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