Assistive technology: a web tool to promote better communication for hearing impaired people
Hearing impaired people face many problems including when accessing customer service. Assistive technologies provide the necessary assistance to the user to perform an action that, on the contrary, would not be feasible or could help the user to perform an easier or safer action. Assistive technology is an interdisciplinary area of knowledge, which encompasses products, resources, methodologies, strategies, practices, and services that aim to promote the functionality, related to the activity and participation, of people with disabilities or reduced mobility, aiming at their autonomy, independence, quality of life and social inclusion. Up to the present moment, a USA & Chinese technology multinational does not globally employ any sign language accessibility tools in its products or websites. Due to the importance of promoting accessibility in institutions, this work aims to create a tool that facilitates the communication of people with deafness in a bidirectional way (question and answer) using sign language in customer service by accessing the website of technical support for their products. The sign language Writing system was used due to the form of notation idealized to represent sign languages in their written form. Deep learning was used, essentially, neural networks, to deal separately with signal recognition and translation. This work is important in promoting accessibility by creating a tool that allows hearing impaired people to access quality information and facilities that current technologies offer.