English Nederlands

Computer and Communication Aids for the Disabled


Het project

Gebarenblik logo Gebarenblik is software to learn and practise the Weerklank sign language. Weerklank is a Dutch institution for mentally handicapped deaf people. This institution developed or adjusted over 1000 signs for these people. The Gebarenblik-cd-rom contains video's and photo's of the signs.
Handicom did the programming in this project.

An important reason to set up this project was that most of the care institutions in the Netherlands don't use the same sign language and symbol systems. The result is that when someone who lives in a home for mentally handicapped people, moves to another home, he or she has to learn another language all together. This can change if all institutions use Gebarenblik.

Project partners

Sterrebos, a Dutch care institution for mentally handicapped people, was the initiator of the project.
Under the supervision of the Weerklank, Schepens produkties took care of the realization of the sign video's and photo's.
Handicom wrote the applications.
A large number of institutions has participated in the evaluation of the software.
rdgKompagne puts Gebarenblik on the market.

The software

Gebarenblik consists of 3 modules: Print, Encyclopedie (Encyclopedia) and Oefenen (Practise).

Gebarenblik is sold by:

Winthontlaan 200
3526 KV Utrecht
Telefoon: 030-2870564.

To use Gebarenblik you need a multimedia computer with at least a 166 MHz processor and Windows 95, 16 Mb RAM and 550 Mb free space on the hard disk.

Gebarenblik Print

With Gebarenblik Print you can compose and print sign exercise books in no time, without any manual work. A sign exercise book contains photo's of signs combined with one or more symbols, pictures or photo's. Using these books, deaf people can practise the signs without help. Books that also contain descriptions of the signs, can be used by others to look up signs or to pick up new signs.
This print program works with templates that can be filled with sign photo's, sign descriptions, words, images, photo's and symbols from 5 different symbol systems: Bliss, PCS, Pictogram, Beeldlezen and Beta.

Gebarenblik Encyclopedie

Gebarenblik Encyclopedie is a tool for therapists, family and other supporters of a mentally handicapped person. They can use it to look up the correct signs and symbols for each word. There is a video of every sign.

Gebarenblik Oefenen (Practise)

Gebarenblik Oefenen consists of two applications: Leren (Learn) and Memory (a game). These applications have been given a very simple interface to enable a mentally disabled person to work with them independently.

Leren is an imitation program. The speech therapist has to decide beforehand which signs will be part of an exercise. The exercise can be saved in a file. When the file is opened again, the first frame of the first sign video appears on screen. Next to the video an image or photo is seen. The video can be played by clicking on it. One can look at other images or photos by clicking on the boxes below the image or photo. Apart from that, you only see a big 'next' button with which you can go to the next sign in the series.

For Memory games, the player also needs the help of a therapist (or a parent, or friend) to decide how many cards, which words and which symbol system(s) will be used. It is possible to use two symbol systems at the same time; each word will then be represented by both symbol systems. For instance, when playing with sign photo's and PCS symbols, the player has to combine the photo and the symbol that represent the same concept.

Pictures and video's

Gebarenblik comes with video's and photo's of the Weerklank signs (over 1000). The signs are not only linked to words but also to the different symbol systems and pictures. This explains the meaning of signs in a way that is understandable for the mentally handicapped person.
The following symbol databases can be used in Gebarenblik: PCS, Bliss, Pictogram, Beeldlezen and Beta. It is possible to order Gebarenblik with just a few of these symbol databases.