March 29, 2017

EPICS team event highlights project to translate code videos for deaf

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. —An EPICS student team is launching a fundraising effort for its project helping deaf and hearing-impaired people with learning opportunities to find jobs in the technical industry.

The Deaf Kids Code team from Purdue University’s Engineering Projects in Community Service is hosting an event, “Inspire to Innovate,” for their project from 2-6 p.m. Sunday (April 2) at Purdue’s Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering atrium.

The goal of the project is to translate JavaScript coding videos from Khan Academy to American Sign Language. The team chose a goal of 1,000 videos in fall 2016 because that is the minimum number necessary to be listed on the non-profit educational academy’s main website.

Thirty-two videos have been translated so far. The goal is to complete 1,000 videos by fall 2019.

The process of translating is expensive. The event kicks off an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, “Khan Academy: 1,000 Videos for the Deaf,” to raise money for the ongoing project.

The hands-on tech fair event will feature live translation of the videos, lessons on how to communicate your name in sign language as well as an interactive laser harp created by another EPICS team. Drones from the Purdue Drone Club and virtual reality work from the Envision Center also will be on-hand.

The event is free and open to the public.

A video regarding the Deaf Kids Code project is available at

Nusaybah Abu-Mulaweh, advisor for the 22-student EPICS team, said the project makes the videos available to deaf or hearing-impaired children who want to learn code.

“With a fast-growing technical industry, the hope is by translating Khan Academy JavaScript coding videos into sign language, they can help deaf children learn code and spark interest to pursue further education in the computing field and raise the number of deaf individuals who are employed,” she said.

Abu-Mulaweh said professional interpreters translate the coding video and then the team compiles a new product by overlaying the coding video with the translation video.

“The hope is to launch a movement and inspire others to start creating sign language academic videos to open source education for the deaf,” she said. 

Writer: Brian L. Huchel, 765-494-2084, 

Source: Nusaybah Abu-Mulaweh, 765-494-8332,

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