A mobile app that serves as a guide for Filipino Sign Language (FSL) called FSL Buddy 2.0 will soon be available in major app stores.
FSL, the natural sign language used by the majority of Filipino Deaf people, hearing interpreters and allies, is a form of visual and manual communication with its own linguistic characteristics such as grammar and syntax.
The app was created to serve as a friendly companion for those wishing to explore the language, and as an additional electronic resource for students enrolled in the FSL Learning Program at De La Salle College in Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB).
Designed to be user-friendly, it makes it easy for learners to search or browse through categories and gives them the opportunity to immerse themselves in the language on a daily basis. It includes a sensitivity and awareness orientation on Deaf, identity, culture and community, complemented by lessons on fundamental visual-gestural communication.
FSL Buddy 2.0 should include more requested signs and phrases. The first edition featured over 200 FSL signs ranging from alphabet, pronouns, adjectives, and verbs to numbers such as time, months, and years.
The current version also provides interpretations for family members, animals, places, food, and colors. It contains educational videos with a deaf signer demonstrating variations of FSL signs with equivalent words and phrases.
Conceptualized in July 2017 and first published in 2018, FSL Buddy is a project of the DLS-CSB, developed collaboratively 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 and Information Systems Program.
This project was made possible through a grant from Accenture Philippines, one of the world’s leading management consulting, technology services and outsourcing companies. The college will gain additional corporate support for the adoption and integration of new technologies and methodologies into academic programs.
Received by Benilde HiFi and Peter D. Garrucho Jr. Innovations Institute (PDGii), the grant also highlights the importance of collaborations between private companies and educational institutions to create positive impact and change in the country.