A Sign Language Screen Reader for Deaf

  • Oussama El Ghoul
  • Mohamed Jemni
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5889)


Screen reader technology has appeared first to allow blind and people with reading difficulties to use computer and to access to the digital information. Until now, this technology is exploited mainly to help blind community. During our work with deaf people, we noticed that a screen reader can facilitate the manipulation of computers and the reading of textual information. In this paper, we propose a novel screen reader dedicated to deaf. The output of the reader is a visual translation of the text to sign language. The screen reader is composed by two essential modules: the first one is designed to capture the activities of users (mouse and keyboard events). For this purpose, we adopted Microsoft MSAA application programming interfaces. The second module, which is in classical screen readers a text to speech engine (TTS), is replaced by a novel text to sign (TTSign) engine. This module converts text into sign language animation based on avatar technology.


Screen reader TTSing engine Deaf Avatar 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Blenkhorn, P., Evans, G.: Architecture and requirements for a Windows screen reader. In: Speech and Language Processing for Disabled and Elderly People (2000)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fajardo, I., Cañas, J.J., Salmerón, L., Abascal, J.: Information structure and practice as facilitators of deaf users’ navigation in textual websites. Behaviour & Information Technology 28, 87–97 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Fajardo, I., Canas, J., Salmeron, L., Abascal, J.: Improving Deaf Users’ Accessibility in Hypertext Information Retrieval: Are Graphical Interfaces Useful for Them? Behaviour & Information Technology 25(6), 455–467 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Jemni, M., El ghoul, O.: An avatar based approach for automatic interpretation of text to Sign language. In: 9th European Conference for the Advancement of the Assistive Technologies in Europe, San Sebastián, Spain (2007)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Jemni, M., El ghoul, O.: A System to Make Signs Using Collaborative Approach. In: International Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs, Linz, Austria, pp. 670–677 (2008)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kaibel, A., Grote, K., Knoerzer, K., Sieprath, H., Florian, K.: Hypertext in sign language. In: 9th ERCIM Workshop "User Interfaces For All". Königswinter, Germany (2006)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lazar, J., Allen, A., Kleinman, J., Malarkey, C.: What frustrates screen reader users on the web: A study of 100 blind users. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction 22, 247–269 (2007)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Marschark, M., Harris, M.: Success and failure in learning to read: The special case of deaf children. In: Reading comprehension difficulties: Processes and intervention, pp. 279–300. Lawrence Erlbaum, Mahwah (1996)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Rogers, T.: Access to information on computer networks by the deaf. The Communication Review 2, 497–521 (1998)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Research Laboratory of technologies of Information and Communication,
  11. 11.
    World Federation of the Deaf (WFD), Position Paper regarding the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, Ad Hoc Committee on a Comprehensive and Integral International Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights and Dignity of Persons with Disabilities (June 24, 2003)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oussama El Ghoul
    • 1
  • Mohamed Jemni
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Unit of Technologies of Information and Communication UTIC[8]Ecole Supérieure des Sciences et Techniques de TunisTunisTunisia

Personalised recommendations