Snapchat's new stickers and lenses teach fingerspelling and basic ASL

Encouraging Snapchatters to pick up a bit of sign language — today is International Day of Sign Languages  Snap has added AR lenses that make it fun and easy to learn fingerspelling and a few words in ASL.

One of the lenses teaches fingerspelling, using a Snapchatter's camera to recognize and assess their gestures in real time through technology developed by Signall. Another lens helps people learn a few common words like 'love', 'hug' and 'smile'. Users can boost awareness with dedicated Bitmoji stickers, and share clips of themselves signing.

Snap launched the new features in honor of Deaf Awareness Week. 

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From interpreters at pandemic press conferences to an ASL rendition of WAP going viral on TikTok, the visibility of sign language is on the rise, and so is consumer interest. About time, since the WHO estimates that 6.1% of the world’s population has ‘disabling’ hearing loss.  

Want to incorporate sign language into your brand's offerings, or otherwise improve your product or service with accessibility in mind? Do the obvious: involve people with disabilities. Snap worked with deaf and hard-of-hearing people on its staff. If your own team doesn't include people from the communities you want to connect with, (a) hire more diversely and/or (b) check out The Disabled List, a group of creative disabled people who are available to consult.

Related: Starbucks opens a new ‘Signing Store’ in Tokyo

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