Accessible options for Deaf people in e-Learning platforms: technology solutions for Sign Language translation

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Paulo Martins
Tânia Vilela Rocha
Leonel Morgado
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This paper presents a study on potential technology solutions for enhancing the communication process for deaf people on e-learning platforms through translation of Sign Language (SL). Considering SL in its global scope as a spatial-visual language not limited to gestures or hand/forearm movement, but also to other non-dexterity markers such as facial expressions, it is necessary to ascertain whether the existing technology solutions can be effective options for the SL integration on e-learning platforms. Thus, we aim to present a list of potential technology options for the recognition, translation and presentation of SL (and potential problems) through the analysis of assistive technologies, methods and techniques, and ultimately to contribute for the development of the state of the art and ensure digital inclusion of the deaf people in e-learning platforms. The analysis show that some interesting technology solutions are under research and development to be available for digital platforms in general, but yet some critical challenges must solved and an effective integration of these technologies in e-learning platforms in particular is still missing. (C) 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.