Doncaster Deaf Trust team celebrate sign language funding

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A team from Doncaster are celebrating the news that further funding has been granted by the European Union to continue the development of an online tool to bring Sign Language to the world.

The group, from Doncaster Deaf Trust, have been working with other European countries since 2006 to develop the European Commission Funded www.spreadthesign.com project. A recent bid to continue the project was successful and a further three years funding has been agreed.

Doncaster Deaf Trust’s involvement in Spread the Sign began nine years ago when the project started and since then they have filmed 15,000 British sign language words for the online dictionary.

Alan Robinson, executive principal, at Doncaster Deaf Trust said: “We are delighted that funding has been provided to continue the development of this fantastic project.

“We are extremely proud to be involved in Spread the Sign and it is making a real difference to Deaf and hard of hearing people from across the globe.”

Spread the Sign is a great tool for deaf people but can also be used to help to promote deaf awareness in the work place and help to equip people who are dealing with the public with some of the basic signs needed to communicate.

“What began life as an online resource for students wishing to learn sign language in other European styles has now developed to a global online website and app which is being used from Japan to Australia and Germany to the UK.

“We are thrilled by what we have achieved so far and everyone involved is excited by the prospect of making the site even better,” added Alan.

There are approximately 70 million people across the globe who use sign language as their first language or mother tongue and www.spreadthesign.com is a free tool available to help them to communicate.