Have Google Translate offer American Sign Language services.
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Today, Google Translate offers translation services in over 100 languages, including Latvian, Samoan, Welsh, and others. In no capacity, however, does Google Translate offer translations, images or videos of American Sign Language (ASL).
"Nearly 2 million cannot understand normal speech, and of this number, just under 500,000 comprise the deaf community (those who use ASL)," according to a study by Project MUSE. In theory, this makes ASL the fourth-largest language in the United States after English, Spanish, and Chinese.
The ASL community deserves not only acknowledgement, but support and prioritization from all other communities, regardless of how we each respectively communicate.
WHY GOOGLE SHOULD BUY-IN
Providing Google Translation services is a means to remove barriers between human interactions, to build relationships, and to foster unity. By creating an option for users to view ASL videos or images, Google increases awareness of the ASL community and eases their struggles in a world of sounds.
Recognizing ASL as a language on Google Translate shows respect for how many individuals independently communicate their stories with this unique method.
This is a viable market with consumer interest that only strengthens and enhances the Google brand. In fact, the Google Play store offers an Android-exclusive app known as "ProDeaf Translator" that currently has a 4.6/5 rating and almost 24,000 reviews, indicating a clear demand for these services.
THE FINE DETAILS
According to the National Institute of Health, ASL is "a complete, complex language that employs signs made by moving the hands combined with facial expressions and postures of the body."
ASL IS A LANGUAGE.
As a universal tech tool for the all communities, Google Translate does not specify its use as limited exclusively to written language, but instead declares its intent to allows users to "connect with peoples, places, and cultures across language barriers. "That is exactly what an ASL Google Translate option does: it empowers human connections for a giant portion of our society. It recognizes and validates that you do not need to speak to have a voice and to be heard.
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