Canadian Institute of Mass Communication

CIMC engages in applied research activities for the purpose of identifying and testing appropriate and cost-effective technology applications, methodologies and processes for efficient scaling of innovative solutions.
Prototype System for Scalable ETV Production Workflow
In 2005, CIMC tested the scalability of a prototype workflow for Educational Television Production in Ethiopia: curriculum mapping,  instructional designing, script writing,  graphics creation, B-roll video acquisitions, content and assets management, studio recordings, sign language incorporation, post-production editing,  quality assurance, version tracking, approvals processing, digitization, etc. The tested workflow was successfully applied in the Ethiopian ETV project.
Inclusive Education – ETHIOPIA

Need for Sign Language Interpretation (SLI)

Sign Lexicon for Education (SLE), Ethiopia

CIMC is embarking on an applied research project aimed at enhancing inclusive education for the deaf community in Ethiopia. Leveraging our extensive experience in educational projects in Ethiopia since 2005, we aim to address the gap in specialized sign language vocabulary for academic subjects, which often poses challenges for interpreters, teachers, and students. Our project proposes the development of a prototype database of video clips, documenting and disseminating a sign language vocabulary pertinent to selected subjects taught in secondary schools. This database will serve as a Sign Language Lexicon, a sign language version of a dictionary, providing a comprehensive collection of signs representing academic words. The signs will be negotiated, determined, and approved by representatives of educators and students in the Deaf community, ensuring their relevance and acceptance. Where appropriate, multiple signs or combinations of signs will be recorded for the same English word, acknowledging the richness and complexity of sign languages.
Sign Interpretation – Vocabulary Problems
The need for the proposed research undertaking is underscored by the challenges that were faced by sign interpreters during our previous educational television projects in Ethiopia, as demonstrated in the video above. The absence of universally accepted sign interpretations for complex academic words often necessitated sign-spelling, a time-consuming process that disrupted the flow of communication. This was particularly problematic in the educational videos, where the voice-over narration moved on while the sign interpreter was still spelling out previous sentences, leaving the interpreter trailing behind and struggling to keep pace with the narrator.
By creating a Sign Language Lexicon, we aim to make sign interpretation more efficient and effective, enhancing the learning experience for deaf students. This aligns with CIMC’s goal of supporting rigorous, intellectually ambitious, and technically sound research that is relevant to the most pressing questions and compelling opportunities in education.
In the context of creating a database of signs representing words from school textbooks for the purpose of sign-language interpretation for deaf students, the most appropriate counterpart for the term “dictionary” is a “Sign Language Lexicon” or “Sign Lexicon”. The term “lexicon” is used in linguistics to refer to the vocabulary of a language and includes words and expressions. In the context of sign language, a “Sign Language Lexicon” or “Sign Lexicon” refers to a collection of signs that represent words or concepts. This term acknowledges the visual and gestural nature of sign language, moving away from the auditory connotation of “dictionary”. It’s important to note that this term respects the complexity and richness of sign languages, recognizing them as fully-fledged languages with their own vocabulary (signs), grammar, and syntax, not merely as manual representations of spoken words. In the case of CIMC’s project, the “Sign Lexicon for Education” will be a prototype database of signs representing words from selected subjects, serving as a valuable resource for sign-language interpretation in educational settings for deaf students.