Gifs communicate to the internet generation what words and static images never could. For those interested in learning sign language, they’ll now help to communicate in altogether different ways.
Giphy today released an extensive library containing more than 2,000 GIFs of words and phrases in American Sign Language. Clipped from the educational video series Sign With Robert, each image contains text descriptions designed to teach hearing people how to communicate with the deaf. Conversely, it could work the other way too — teaching the deaf to communicate with each other (assuming they don’t already speak ASL).
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According to Hilari Carl, director and producer of Sign With Robert:
GIFs, as a visual format untethered from audio, makes them a perfect medium for sign language. The GIF format has the ability to loop infinitely, so it’s perfect for learning new signs. [It] doesn’t require the back and forth of hitting play, rewind or repeat.
Users can find the GIFs by searching “Sign With Robert” on Giphy.