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University Of California Makes Astronomy Available To The Deaf

University of California’s astronomers have joined hands with teachers at the CSDR (California School for the Deaf, Riverside) to develop an astronomy workshop for students with hearing disability. The workshop can be easily employed in fairs, museums, classrooms, and other public events.

The workshop used a sound stage that permitted the CSDR students to “experience” vibrations from stars, rockets, supernovae, galaxies, and even remnants of the Big Bang. The team members have written up their experiences and made their materials public to assist educators and teachers all over the world to likewise engage the deaf society in STEM activities.

Since 2015, Gillian Wilson (a professor of astronomy & physics and senior associate vice chancellor for economic development & research at UCR) and Mario De Leo-Winkler (former postdoctoral scholar at UCR and director of the National System of Researchers of Mexico) have designed astronomy outreach programs that have reached 40,000 individuals. These programs include traveling astronomy exhibitions, astronomy photography competitions, interdisciplinary honors thesis projects, K12 workshops, and hands-on undergraduate astrophotography.

On a related note, Huawei claimed that it plans to solve issue related to deaf kids with its StorySign Android app. Point your handset at particular kid’s books and the application will employ AI to translate separate words on the page into sign language conducted by an avatar (developed by Aardman Animations). This not only assists kids read, but can educate parents the sign language, which they would need later on.

The application is free on both Huawei’s own AppGallery and Google Play, and it does not need a Huawei handset. It presently supports 10 sign languages (comprising most languages in Europe). Every language presently has just 1 book. It might take a long while before you have a selection of stories at bedtime to read. If you do not mind that, this might boost literacy amongst children who do not always have the comfort of somebody interpreting words for them.

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