When it comes to communicating via email or text messaging, deaf people have to rely on English or other language keyboards even though sign language may be their primary language. Although deaf people read, write and lip read in their surrounding language, sign language can be independent of that. Also, there are different rules for forming well structured sentences in sign language. If native language keyboards don’t work, deaf people use videos to communicate with one another.
To provide the independence and joy of communicating in sign language over email and text, ASLized!, a non profit organization that creates educational videos in ASL, has created an ASL keyboard. This keyboard, available on iOS and Android for 99 cents, has a QWERTY style keyboard that lists the alphabet, numbers from 0 – 31 and various other sentences and phrases in the form of gif/emoji style icons. A user forms their sentence by just choosing those emojis and sending them off in a message! It makes communication for them much quicker and natural. If need be, users can use a combination of ASL and words in surrounding language to communicate.Signily also has various skin tones representing different ethnicities.
We know that day to day life can be much more fun and casual with some profanity (*wink*), and signily has some emojis for profanity in ASL! However, there is a profanity free option as well for users who like to keep their conversation clean.
Here’s an example of what texting via Signily looks like:
Source: Tech Insider