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Title: Empowering the Text Based Understandability of Students with Hearing Impairments
Authors: Kannangara, M.U.
Thrimahavithana, S.S.
Yasoda, V.N.
Issue Date: 26-Jul-2021
Abstract: Imparting and exchanging of information is a human need. Language is the key to satisfy that need. People usually communicate using their native or foreign languages and they use their vocal tones and the hearing ability in communicating with each other. But hearing impaired people face lots of problems in communicating owing to their hearing inability. Their reading and understandability have also been poor due to this disability. Deaf people use their own communicating methods and one of the most common is sign language. The Sri Lankan deaf community uses Sri Lankan sign language. Only a very few deaf people can be seen in higher job positions in Sri Lanka as in most other countries. The believed reason for that is their lower performance at examinations. Sri Lankan deaf students learn Sri Lankan sign language in schools but technological advances have not yet reached these schools. In particular, while there are various developments for other language translations, no developments for translations have been used for Sinhala text to Sinhala sign language conversion. This thesis presents the observations made by evaluating deaf students using a computational tool named Sign Language Translator which translates Sinhala text to Sri Lankan sign language. A comparison among the current examination systems for the hearing impaired was carried out and an examination method was suggested with the proposed IT based solution. The Methodology consists of a control group that was subjected to an examination with the ordinary process of examinations and an experimental group that was exposed to the same examination with the proposed IT based solution which gives a sign language interpretation for the questions given in the examination paper. Matara Rohana Special School was selected for the test and the sample was a student group of Grade 7 class. The students were given a test on the Grade 7 Buddhism subject curriculum. The results obtained in the study showed that the control group had an average mark of 37.75 while the experimental group had an average of 33.75. However, when the marks of the two groups were compared with their previous term test marks, the percentage decrease of marks of the students who used the Sign Language Translator with an average of 8.25, was comparatively lower than the students who used the ordinary method with an average of 16. This shows that a computational tool that converts text to sign language is needed for the increase of text based understandability of students with hearing impairments.
Appears in Collections:2018

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