Tuesday, January 8, 2013


I don't recall a project on which there were practitioners that communicated with ASL -- American Sign Language. Perhaps they were there and I missed them because they were mainstream and not really handicapped.

In the U.S., we hear a lot about STEM -- Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics . This is an important curriculum for any project team doing technology of any sort.

Now we learn that there is a join of ASL and STEM, ASL-STEM, because you can imagine it's not easy to sign scientific terms.  For instance, “Often times, it would involve a lot of finger-spelling and a lot of improvisation,” said Matthew Schwerin, a physicist with the Food and Drug Administration who is deaf, of his years in school, and was interviewed for the underlying article.

We are given this news: This year .... the Scottish Sensory Centre’s British Sign Language Glossary Project, added 116 new signs for physics and engineering terms, including signs for “light-year,” (hold one hand up and spread the fingers downward for “light,” then bring both hands together in front of your chest and slowly move them apart for “year”), “mass” and “X-ray” (form an X with your index fingers, then, with the index finger on the right hand, point outward). 

This has to be all good news: we can now fully enfranchise those who would and can contribute to our STEM projects.