The WPS and the Max Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics are planning to develop an online dictionary of approximately 5,000 specialist STEM signs. To this end, the research partners are cooperating in lieu of the already ongoing projects “Sign2MINT” (Max Planck Institute) and “delegs” (WPS). The future dictionary will be free to use. Thus we want to improve the availability and access to professional STEM signs for the deaf community, in order to foster a more intense exchange of professional signs in the deaf STEM specialist community. The results of the cooperation should increase access to STEM professions and career opportunities for deaf people.

Within the scope of the cooperation, the MPI will take over the vocabulary work of the signs and their documentation on video. We expect to be able to develop about 1,350 new professional signs per year. With 1,000 professional signs that have already been developed, a total of around 5,000 professional signs could be collected over the project duration of three years.

The WPS is responsible for the technical side of the STEM sign dictionary. For this purpose, we provide the MPI with a free database for storing and retrieving the signing videos produced by the MPI. The contents of the database are managed jointly by the cooperation partners. We keep the database online and take care of maintaining the database software at our own expense. In addition, we ensure that the sign videos continue to be stored and managed in the database after the official end of the cooperation, and that they remain publicly accessible on the web and free of charge to use.

“Especially in the field of STEM we have the phenomenon of professional language islands for deaf people. With Sign2MINT, we want to build bridges: at the same time reduce communication barriers and facilitate access to STEM subjects for deaf people,” says Ingo Barth, deaf research group leader at the MPI of Microstructure Physics and head of the Sign2MINT project. “We are very excited to connect the existing delegs applications with the professional signs from the Sign2MINT project. This is very much in line with our community approach. Together with the MPI, we are laying the foundations for a professional STEM sign dictionary,” says Uta Meißner, deaf software developer and technical project manager of the delegs project at WPS.

Max Planck Institute for Microstructure Physics
delegs project of WPS (German, general information in English)


Support by: