Call it a sign of the times: New searchable online sign language dictionary debuts

From the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf (AASD), “MySignLink” is a new resource designed to make it easier for educators to communicate with students who are hearing-impaired. The site contains a searchable online sign language dictionary, which the AASD bills as a “powerful new application that promotes deaf literacy, while helping others around the state, and the world, learn American Sign Language.” Currently, the database includes 17,000 English words and phrases, all linked to nearly 2,500 video clips showing signs in action. AASD said it hopes to expand the database to more than 100,000 word entries. Educators who wish to use this free service can do so by going to the web site, highlighting any of the words on their screen, clicking on the link, and watching the a short video of the corresponding sign. A search feature also enables users to look for a specific word within the list. MySignLink was developed by AASD Media and Technology Specialist Dr. Harley Hamilton, with assistance from Kennesaw State University Technology Instructor Jim Wright. “Use it while browsing web pages, reading a book, watching captioned TV, doing homework, studying for a test, communicating with a deaf family member, or even eating a sandwich,” Hamilton said. “It’s a fun and easy way to learn sign language, and it is available on any computer with an internet connection.”

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