University of MinhoSchool of Engineering Departament of Computer Science
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Personagens Virtuais No Ensino Da Língua Gestual Portuguesa
Leonel Deusdado & António Ramires Fernandes

In CHALLENGES 2003-III Conferência Internacional sobre Tecnologias de Informação e Comunicação na Educação, Braga, Portugal. September, 2003.


Abstract

The Portuguese Sign Language (LGP) faces a low diffusion level, among the deaf as well as the hearing communities. The communication of a deaf person, to be effective, requires the knowledge of LGP, not only on the speaker<92>s side, but also from the listener<92>s.

It is also essential that both speak the same sign language. Due to the shortage of information, or lack ofavailability of the language, it is common to see people of distinct regions, using different gestures for the same words. It is in this babylon that, in linguisticterms, the deaf people live nowadays. As communication is an essential factor to learning, it is fundamental to explore all the possible ways of taking the LGP to alarge number of people.

This paper focuses on the use of the new technologies in the diffusion and teaching of the sign language. Even thought there is an agreement on the need of human intervention in the teaching of a sign language, it is also true that there is no dispute in relation to the added value that the new technologies represent as support material in the teaching. We give special emphasis on the technologies that use images and/or models based in three-dimensional graphics to create virtual signers.