Diversity & Inclusion

Tech companies can help the Deaf community decide how to sign about them

Tech CEOs can help American Sign Language users settle on how to sign their company's name, according to a story in the new Bushwick publication Hopes&Fears.

How do you sign “Instagram?” It turns out, there isn’t really consensus just yet, but it’s getting there. Internet slang requires a conversation among those who use sign language, but consensus typically emerges.
Brands that create new words can speed the process up, however. That’s according to a multimedia story on a new website called Hopes&Fears. The new site is based out of Livestream’s second building in Bushwick (right across the street from Livestream HQ). Hopes&Fears launched just last month.
Douglas Ridoff, an organizer of Brooklyn storytelling events for members of the Deaf community, explains how involvement from the relevant startup speeds up the process:

“In terms of Instagram, I still see quite a bit of variety regarding the sign usage, we haven’t seen a consensus yet. I think there are several reasons why. For instance, the CEO from Glide got involved and it was really key that he was a part of that collaboration in coming up with one definitive sign. When it comes to Instagram, a representative has yet to be involved in that process, so no consensus has been reached and thus it will take longer to come to a consensus. There isn’t an official canon or anything. It’s a small community.”

The full story depicts more signs in progress. It features several contemporary terms, each with two versions, signed in looping videos throughout the story, one version by Ridoff and the other from one of his ASL students, a twelve year-old girl named Tully Stelzer.

Read the full story

Companies: Instagram
Series: Brooklyn

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