Friday, August 17, 2012

Missing Link?

Communication has always been a phenomenon that beats me. How a child inherently learns to speak the tongue of people in his/her immediate environs, gestures that cut across cultures, et cetera. Still more fascinating is the ability of the deaf and dumb to communicate with their peers, and non-signers (using sign language).

Remember the programme 'Missing Link' on GTV --'twas shown on Saturdays? That was a really educative programme that got discontinued.

A lot of study has also gone into finding better ways to enhance the interaction between humans and computers -- Human Computer Interaction. Researchers are finding ways of particularly, also helping the deaf, dumb, and blind folks embrace technology.
One such development in Ghana has to do with the Ghanaian Sign Language (GhSL) Repository. The project aims to develop a website that will serve as a repository as well as an online teaching resource for GhSL; mainly aimed at non-signers. This project is being spearheaded by Diana Dayaka Osei and Dr. Astrid Twenebowa Larssen (of Ashesi University). This project would go a long way to bridge the gap 'between both worlds'. A very laudable venture by these individuals indeed.

Have you watched the evening news on GTV lately? A man does the signs when the news is read! However, I believe the signs are in English -- yes, English version. What if we had a local version (in our local tongue) while the local news is read on television? Super cool!
Surprisingly, we do have a local version of the sign language in Ghana -- the Adamorobe Sign Language!.

Technology, in the right hands, and used for the right reasons is pretty amazing. Embrace it.

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