Project title: Advancing inclusive education through International Sign
Duration: September 2019 – August 2022
UM FERI Coordinator: red. prof. dr. Tatjana Welzer Družovec
Web page: https://www.uni-siegen.de/zew/insign/index.html.en?lang=en
- University of Siegen (project coordinator) – Germany
- Polytechnic Institute of Porto – Portugal
- Hellenic Mediterranean University – Greece
- European Association of Career Guidance – Cyprus
- University of Maribor – Slovenia
InSign (Advancing inclusive education through International Sign) is ERASMUS+ programme funded project. This three-year-long project aims to establish an innovative infrastructure to promote the communication between deaf and non-deaf and among international deaf students using International Sign, a simplistic form of national sign languages used in international signed communications. The InSign project will transfer innovative research results into service for the European (deaf) community.
InSign promotes the internationalization of education and the international mobility of deaf students, which is a specific cluster in the European Higher Education Area where students have little support that might be largely extended by InSign. By raising awareness and promoting the use of International Sign by deaf and non-deaf users, InSign wishes to tear down barriers to communication with deaf students and open the doors of internationalization and globalization to young deaf students.
Key project results
The project will produce a book published in five European languages describing the main aspects of International Sign and partners’ natural sign languages and their standing in their respective countries. Additionally, we will introduce a course on International Sign in a MOOC addressed to the deaf and non-deaf who want to learn International Sign. Finally, the project will develop an automatic translator for translations between International Sign and partner’s national sign languages.
The project is expected to impact the involved communities and the stakeholders significantly. It will support access to (higher) education for deaf and hard of hearing students. It will help them communicate in circumstances where their natural (sign) language is not understood. The project’s results will support the international mobility of sign language speakers for the purposes of education and otherwise. Institutions adopting the ideas of the InSign project (e.g. the course or automatic translator) will improve the inclusion of deaf people into their environment. The InSign project will produce, as far as we can tell, the first and unique system for automatic real-time translation between different natural sign languages and also the International Sign. This will impact the international level in schools, mainly higher education and vocational education schools that are currently giving significant importance to the internationalization of education as a key factor to improving students’ competencies. Non-deaf students (and deaf students if they do not speak the same language) and professionals will be able to establish basic communication with deaf people using gestures from International Sign with a little time investment.