Language barriers make it difficult for the deaf and hard of hearing to engage and interact in everyday situations. The EU-funded EASIER project aims to develop a translation platform that will enable users of European sign languages to communicate effectively with hearing individuals. The novel translation technology will be able to visually recognise sign language and generate signing through an animated avatar. The project will work closely with members of deaf communities in all project stages, from design to validation. Ultimately, the platform will enhance the quality of life for the hearing impaired and create a more inclusive European society.

EASIER aims to create a framework for barrier-free communication among deaf and hearing citizens across the European Union by enabling users of European Sign Languages to use their preferred language to interact with hearing individuals, via incorporation of state-of-the-art new machine translation technology that is capable of dealing with a wide range of languages and communication scenarios. To this end, it exploits a robust data-driven sign language (video) recognition engine and utilizes a signing avatar engine that not only produces signing that is easy to comprehend by the deaf community but also integrates information on affective expressions and coherent prosody.

The envisaged ecosystem will incorporate a robust translation service surrounded by numerous tools and services which will support equal participation of deaf individuals to the whole range of everyday-life activities within an inclusive community, and also accelerate the incorporation of less-resourced sign languages into sign language technologies, while it leverages the sign language content creation industry. The deaf community is heavily involved in all project processes, while deaf researchers are among the staff members of all sign language expert partners.
Submitted by Giacomo Inches on Thu, 06/10/2022 - 12:25