The sole university in Romblon province has launched a mobile application designed to enhance possibilities and accessibility for individuals with hearing disabilities. The project, which aims to teach basic sign language, will be piloted in Odiongan, where approximately 80 individuals with hearing disabilities reside.
Dave Lota, one of the app’s developers, explained that the app, known as “iSign,” intends to assist not only those with hearing disabilities but also their families in learning the fundamental sign language necessary for everyday communication.
It is one of the capstone projects created by graduates of Romblon State University’s Institute of Information Technology.
In an interview with PIA Romblon, Preexcy Tupas, iSign’s project coordinator, highlighted the app’s broader reach, emphasizing that it would enable other sectors of society to learn basic sign language and facilitate communication with individuals who are deaf or mute.
“Our feasibility study revealed that one of the main challenges faced by persons with disabilities (PWDs) is their isolation. Many deaf and mute individuals lack access to sign language education. When we learned about the program initiated by the Odiongan LGU, we proposed this app to them as a valuable tool for its utilization,” stated Tupas.
During the launch, the app was installed on smartphones belonging not only to PWDs but also to their relatives, educators, and other key sectors.
The iSign app offers a variety of features, including sign languages for the alphabet, numbers, a dictionary, and even nursery rhymes.
Odiongan Mayor Trina Firmalo-Fabic attended the application launch and shared her delight in the development of this tool for PWDs. She expressed her satisfaction at having such an application that will greatly benefit the PWD community.
In recent years, the local government unit of Odiongan has taken proactive steps to empower PWDs, particularly those who are deaf and mute. They have been providing sign language training and learning modules to enhance the communication skills of this community.