Sign language assist

I accidentally graduated with a certificate in business and part of that had me identify underserved markets. This project exists to leverage many of my skills into a real world solution for the benefit of everyday people.

Note: This is a live document and will be expanded upon as this project progresses

The people

We get 5 senses in life, sometimes 6 if you count common sense, but for many it is even fewer. Sensory loss cuts people off from the world, from others, and from the human experience. You can lose your sense of smell or taste and lose the enjoyment of foods and flowers, but daily life won’t penalise you for it. The organ responsible for your sense of touch is so large that it is exceedingly rare that one could lose that sense, but still life will not heavily penalise you for it. You sense of sight can be lost, and that would be debilitating, it would seriously limit your ability to navigate and perceive the world around you. Losing your sense of hearing is possibly the most impactful loss for a human, it cuts us off from others. Other people, the interaction, the interdependence, the shared experience is vital.

Over 70 million people in the world use sign language as their main language. 5.5 million of them are functionally deaf children.

The deaf population is increasing

Research at the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders has shown a significant association between hearing/speech impairments and moderate to severe depression.

“People with hearing loss, especially those who don’t use hearing aids, find it more difficult to communicate with other people, whether in family situations, social gatherings or at work.”

This matters to us because mental health in the deaf community is a big concern. The deaf are more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety because of lack of human interaction.

Students with hearing impairments score lower

In the United State, the percentage of grade 9 students with hearing impairments who earned a standard diploma after 4 years was 24% lower than that of all students.

Many families are faced with the impossible decision of sending their child away to a boarding school equipped to educate them, or keeping them in a local school where they will struggle to learn and even just fit in.

People have tried to find technological solutions in the past, all very similar, but they have all failed because they did not address the whole problem. A technical solution is needed because social solutions are limited and difficult to replicate.

Competition matrix