A designer and three programmers from Ukraine (aka the “Quad Squad”) worked together on EnableTalk, a project that gives a voice to sign language using special sensory gloves. The project “aims at solving the problem of limited communication abilities for the disabled people who know sign language and to transform it into a form of verbal communication.” The team won first place in Software Design at Microsoft’s 2012 Imagine Cup Awards in Sydney, Australia.
Every human wants to communicate and get everything there is to it. This is simply our nature. But there’s a group of people with hearing and speech disabilities, many of them completely unable to engage in verbal communications. Moreover, the existing language barrier between those who know the sign language and the rest of the world further exacerbates this problem. Sign language only partially provides the ability to communicate – only in limited circumstances and among a limited group of people. Even something as habitual for the rest of us as shopping becomes problematic when a disabled person is confronted with a shop assistant who does not know sign language. Problems like these have huge and obvious influence on everyday life and general opportunities for self-fulfillment of the disabled people.