A mobile application which serves as a guide for Filipino Sign Language (FSL) called FSL Buddy 2.0 will soon be available in leading app stores.
FSL, the natural sign language used by the majority of the Filipino Deaf individuals, hearing interpreters and allies, is a form of visual and manual communication with its own linguistic features such as grammar and syntax.
The app was created to serve as a friendly companion for those interested to explore the language, and as a supplementary e-resource for students enrolled in the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde’s (DLS-CSB) FSL Learning Program.
Designed to be user-friendly, it allows learners to easily search or browse through categories and provides them with the opportunity to immerse in the language on a daily basis. It includes sensitivity and awareness orientation about the Deaf, identity, culture and community, complemented with lessons on foundational visual-gestural communication.
FSL Buddy 2.0 is set to include more requested signs and phrases. The first edition had over 200 FSL signs that ranged from the alphabet, pronouns, adjectives and verbs to numbers such as time, months and years.
The current version likewise provides interpretations for family members, animals, places, food and colors. It contains educational videos with a Deaf signer demonstrating variations of the FSL signs with the equivalent words and phrases.
Conceptualized in July 2017 and first released in 2018, FSL Buddy is a project of the DLS-CSB, cooperatively developed by the Office of the President, the School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies, the Hub of Innovation for Inclusion and the School of Management and Information Technology-Information Systems Program.
This project was made possible through a grant by Accenture Philippines, a leading global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. The college will obtain additional support from the company for the adoption and integration of new technologies and methodologies in the academic curricula.
Received through Benilde HiFi and Peter D. Garrucho Jr. Innovations Institute (PDGii), the grant likewise highlights the importance of collaborations between private companies and educational institutions in creating positive impact and change in the country.