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Debut for new resources for Deaf people in the media industry


Lifelong learning programmeA new online learning tool developed by University of Wolverhampton experts which is aimed at Deaf people working in the media industry has been debuted at a leading arts festival.



SignMedia is a two-year project to enhance the career prospects of Deaf people working Deaffest - SignMedia in the media in Europe by providing interactive exercises in written English taught through the sign language of their country.

The full project value will be nearly half a million Euros and is supported by the Leonardo da Vinci Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Union. The learning tool was showcased for the first time at Deaffest at the Light House Media Centre in Wolverhampton.

Deaffest is the UK’s leading Deaf film and arts festival, and experts behind SignMedia provided workshops enabling sign language users to try the tool. Representatives from the three countries involved in the project also gave a presentation.

The project is led by the University’s Institute for Media Arts with experts from the School of Law, Social Sciences and Communications’ Deaf Studies Department. Wolverhampton’s partners in the programme are Klagenfurt University, Austria, University of Turin, Italy and Mutt & Jeff Pictures Ltd, UK.

Director of the Institute of Media Arts, Samantha Hope, said: “We’re really pleased with how SignMedia was received at Deaffest. We ran presentations and workshops and the response to the online learning tool was fantastic. Feedback indicates that this innovative resource will be a really beneficial tool for Deaf people working in the media industry in the UK, Italy and Austria. We’re looking forward to an official launch in Brussels later this year.”

The new interactive learning tool on the web will provide exercises in written English, taught through the sign language of each partner country. This will mean there will be three versions of the course, related to British Sign Language (BSL), Italian Sign Language (LIS) and Austrian Sign Language (OGS). It also has a sign language glossary of over 300 media terms.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission Lifelong Learning Programme, Development of Innovation.


Picture: SignMedia partners at stand at Deaffest 2012 – from left to right, Christine Jolly (University of Wolverhampton - UoW), Louis Neethling (Mutt & Jeff Pictures Ltd), Anita Pirker, (Klagenfurt University), Luzia Gansinger (Klagenfurt University), Mary Jolley (UoW), Sam Hope (UoW), Christian Hausch (Klagenfurt University), Natalie Unterberger (Klagenfurt University), Elana Ochse (University of Turin).

For media inquiries please contact Vickie Warren in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736

Date Issued: Friday, 01 June 2012

Note: This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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