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Deaf student invents new scientific sign language terms

Ana Duarte 于 2019-10-23 10:20 分享

About the solution

Some scientific words, like “deoxyribonucleotide”, are very difficult to spell in sign language. It was already tough for Liam to keep up with all the college workload, let alone to spell these scientific words.

Although there are some British Sign Language (BSL) translations for scientific vocabulary words, it’s very limited for college-level communication. As this was making Liam more and more frustrated.

“Watching the interpreters for a one-hour lecture is very tiring. There are a lot of new words and scientific words are often very long, like ‘deoxyribonucleotide’ and ‘deoxyribonucleoside’. Sometimes the interpreter would be fingerspelling for ages and I was having to watch it. We would make up new signs which meant it was easier next time, but it also meant I had to learn new signs which was very tiring”, the student explained.

That led Liam to create over 100 new signs (up to July 2019) for scientific words that have been officially recognised in formal BSL.

Adapted from: https://bit.ly/2ZemoMM


DISCLAIMER: This story was written by someone who is not the author of the solution, therefore please be advised that, although it was written with the utmost respect for the innovation and the innovator, there can be some incorrect statements. If you find any errors please contact the patient Innovation team via info@patient-innovation.com


Liam Mcmulkin, from the UK, was born deaf. Because he pursued higher education, he felt the need to invent new sign language terms for scientific words.

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