Sign language is the basic form of communication used by the hearing impaired (HI). Most people cannot read sign language, making it difficult for HI to communicate with the general public. Alan Lee, whose deceased mother was HI, understands the difficulties faced by HI well.
Serious illness induced by cancer prohibited his mother from wearing any hearing aids, causing difficulties in her communication with medical personnel. "If the public know a little simple sign language, they can have better communication with HI and help reduce their anxieties and helplessness." In reminiscence of his mother and being inspired by her experience in hospital, Alan would like to set up a platform for teaching the public simple sign language through the application of innovative technology. Using his profession in animation, he established Rubber Boy Academy to produce a series of 3D "edutainment" (blending educational and entertainment elements) animation featuring the cartoon character "Rubber Boy" with the aim to enhance mutual communication between the public and HI. Training courses on 3D animation design and production will be provided to assist HI to enjoy a better career development and remuneration.
"Even for us hearing guys, there are times when gestures speak better than speech." Alan grinned and emphasised "learning sign language does not have age restriction." He hopes "Rubber Boy" can change public's perception of sign language, thus encouraging the public to learn while promoting social inclusion. The Academy will have a variety of plans to raise public awareness of sign language including producing micro-films, publication of picture books by using augmented reality (AR) technology, and collaboration projects with schools and other organisations.
The SIE Fund is funding the startup project of Rubber Boy Academy with details here.
Scope of Services
- Inspired by hearing-impaired mother, Alan seeks to popularise sign language with support of crowdfunding (Apple Daily, 09/02/2017) (Chinese only)
- Hearing-impairment of mother prompts Alan to teach sign language by animation (Oriental Daily, 31/12/2016) (Chinese only)
- Promoting sign language by animation (HKCSS Channel, 04/01/2017)