LSD Visual Sign Language Dictionary
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Rationale of Project
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With the concern of the international community for the development of education in regard to people with disabilities, a growing number of nations and regions are acknowledging the need for hearing-impaired students to learn sign language, and taking steps to encourage them to learn through the medium of sign language. Since the signing of the United Nations: the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by China in 2008, the Convention has become applicable to the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. In addition to recognizing the equal status of sign language to the spoken language of hearing people, the Convention stipulates the right of hearing-impaired people to learn and use sign language. It also stipulates that service agencies and organizations have the obligation to provide an environment for the use of sign language and to promote its development. Therefore, the school is duty-bound to shoulder the responsibility for the establishment of a set of tools for the systematic learning of sign language by all the hearing-impaired students in Hong Kong, so that through using sign language their learning efficiency may be enhanced, and that at the same time, hearing people, especially the classmates, parents and teachers of hearing-impaired students, may be induced to recognize the needs of hearing-impaired students and the needs for strengthening communication and exchanges with them, and for working with them in creating an equalitarian and integrated society.

There is a lack of a unified sign vocabulary in Hong Kong at the present moment. As the majority of sign vocabulary in use have been created by different hearing-impaired groups, a particular sign vocabulary item may be signed in five or six ways, and the vocabulary items are mainly about events in daily life. As a result, there is a lack of specialized sign vocabulary for educational use, particularly in meeting the needs of teaching academic subjects such as Science, Liberal Studies, and etc. Sign language does not have the vocabulary to express the specialized terms in these subjects, creating serious impediments for learning and teaching them by hearing-impaired students and their teachers.

For this reason, the school made an application to the Quality Education Fund for funding to implement a three-year project (February 2012 through January 2015) "The Development of New Sign Language Vocabulary for Special Education Needs for NSS Curriculum", briefly referred to as the Sign-Assisted Instruction Programme, to actively promote the development of sign language teaching. The goals of the programme are to create a sign language video dictionary for the purposes of integrating the different signs in use on campus and to create signs for the vocabularies of the academic subjects.