Aligned with its strategic objectives to improve quality of life of all Jamaicans, the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) has provided $7,229,600 to the University of Technology (UTech) of Jamaica to continue the development of the U-Touch multimedia software which will be used to improve the understanding and use of English language among deaf and hard of hearing students. The software uses both Jamaican sign language and Jamaican Standard English and functions on both computers and android platforms.
The software application was developed and launched in September 2016 prior to the distribution of over 130 tablets to the students and teachers of Lister/Gilby School for the Deaf. The application includes animated objects, over 200 sentences of varying complexity at level 1, thirty eight (38) prepositions at level 1 of the software identified, and an animation descriptor.
The project is expected to provide a significant impact to the deaf in the community island-wide and expected to make a significant difference in the lives of members of the deaf community within the country as well as provides an excellent opportunity to improve their prospects for economic growth.
DBJamaica’s “Development of Multimedia Software U-Touch II Using Jamaican Sign Language to teach Standard English to Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students” won the 2017 ADFIAP Outstanding Development Project Awards under the Technology Development Category.