Note : ASL Means American Sign Language
In an effort to simplify digital communications with ASL, an organization called ASLized, is stepping up to bring sign language into emoji with Signily, a keyboard that includes basic Sign Language handshapes.
Signily is a part of the efforts of ASLized, a nonprofit that focuses on advancing ASL within the digital landscape and in visual media by creating learning and teaching tools and preserving the history and culture of the language.
One of the latest attempts to augment the emoji experience is Signily, a keyboard that includes basic American Sign Language hand shapes.
According to Suzanne Stecker, creator of Signily “For a long time I would type abbreviations in English to describe how I would sign in ASL. For example, typing
“You 8585″to another deaf person to say
“You’re so good at what you do!,” or she would get creative with existing characters like “\|,,|” (aka I love you).
“In ASL, there is only one handshape that represents those three words. That’s the beauty of ASL,” she adds.
Stecker created an emoji-like glyph system that displays common handshapes precisely, looking at a better way to communicate digitally with ASL than using numbered shortcodes or symbols to convey and approximate handshapes,
The Signily keyboard includes handshapes for the alphabet, numbers 1-30, and some common phrases, such as “I love you”,
“What’s up?”. The keyboard also allows you to change the skin tone of the hands and toggle between right and left handshapes.
The Signily keyboard includes A-Z, 1-30 and handshapes for common words and phrases
The Signily keyboard includes A-Z, 1-30 and handshapes for common words and phrases.
But Signily is more than just images of handshapes, though. These emoji are GIF-based, because movement is essential ASL.
The GIF-based Signily emoji symbols capture meanings in motion — the meanings and expressions that don’t always quite translate to written language. Sign language is rich and expressive, and now, a part of it lives within the world of emoji.
“Ever since Signily’s release, ASLized has been educating the signing community about the differences between emoji in Unicode and Signily’s GIF-based emoji,” Stecker says.
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