Careers & Education

UTech develops software to assist deaf students

Sunday, March 09, 2014    

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STUDENTS at the Lister Mair Gilby School for the Deaf are benefiting from U-TOUCH, software which uses Jamaican sign language to teach English language to deaf and hard of hearing students.

The software was presented to the institution by the University of Technology (UTech) during a ceremony held at the school on February 26.

Minister of Education Ronald Thwaites, who witnessed the handing over, commended UTech, in particular the leadership of the College of Business and Management (COBAM), for the ground-breaking research.

"This is a sign that you are fulfilling your mandate to use knowledge of science and technology to innovate useful products that can improve the quality of life for the Jamaican population," Thwaites said.

He also lauded UTech for focusing its applied research on institutions and organisations in the surrounding community to positively impact the lives of people.

Thwaites noted that the software has the potential to be used to instruct another 35,000 students who are slow learners under the Alternative Secondary Transition Education Programme.

"That linkage will draw many others into the field of achievement. The Ministry of Education is anxious to facilitate the widespread training of special education and other teachers in the use of this methodology," he said.

Chair of the Lister Mair Gilby School for the Deaf Carole Fox said the software will make a difference in the lives of the students at the institution.

"We are grateful for the interest in our school and the community at large, and applaud the team for development of this software. We are hopeful that this is only the start of greater things to come in the field of deaf education from UTech and we are sure that the forging of this relationship will be able to help the deaf community a lot more," Fox added.

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