In collaboration with SADeaf, the agency has developed Say it With Signs and Hearing Aide – two new mobile applications – to bridge communication gap between the hearing and the Deaf community
1Singapore Association of the Deaf
2World Health Organization FS300 factsheet on Deafness and Hearing Loss – Updated February 2014
Singapore, 22 April 2014 – Grey Group Singapore (“Grey”) today announced that the agency has developed two innovative mobile applications (“apps”) aimed at improving the quality of life of the Deaf community. Developed with inputs and full support from the Singapore Association for the Deaf (SADeaf), the proprietary apps transform smart phones into intelligent devices that help the lives of the Deaf and those Hard-of-Hearing easier and safer.
Say it With Signs
Although smart phones are fast becoming ubiquitous devices in the hearing world, the Deaf community has limited use of them as a communications tool, relying more on text messages and over the top (OTT) applications that deliver visual content.
This poses a challenge when there is difficulty for a caller to key in a text message, such as when the caller is driving or if the caller is a pre-school child. Say it With Signs helps address this challenge by processing audio messages during a phone call into digital hand signs displayed on the receiver’s mobile phone. The receiver of the call, who is a deaf person, can easily view this sign language on their mobile phones and reply to the caller via a text message.
Hearing Aide provides the Deaf community with support during emergencies by processing ambient sounds and transmitting visual and kinetic notifications to the user. Upon recognising a specific audio signature, the app will process this and notify the users of the impending danger via a 20 second vibration and a visual message displayed on the mobile phone screens.
This app is pre-loaded with 5 standard “alarms” or “alert sounds” such as, ambulance, fire brigade, police sirens, fire alarm and smoke detector. Users have the ability to customise the app according to their needs by adding sounds between 90 – 120dB into the databank of alert sounds and renaming labels of the notifications to warning messages they prefer or are familiar with.
SADeaf President, Dr Christopher Low Wong Kein shares, “These applications are breakthroughs for the Deaf community. At SADeaf, we are always on the lookout for innovations that can better the lives of our clients. Say it With Signs and Hearing Aide are certainly two applications that will fast become integral to our clients in their everyday lives. I have no doubt that our clients will be looking forward to have the apps installed on their phones. It was indeed a pleasure working with the highly creative and attentive team at Grey Singapore. We are glad that they have thought of the needs of the Deaf community,”
Bridging worlds through technology
This development of Say it With Signs and Hearing Aide is in line with Grey’s Corporate Social Responsibility commitment, which aims to harness technology to improve the lives of communities.
Last year Grey introduced the Lend an Eye application, developed to help the blind “see”.
The application has been recognised by prestigious bodies, including being named an Official Honoree in the Experimental and Innovation Category of the recent 18th Annual Webby Awards.
Ali Shabaz, Chief Creative Officer of Grey Group Singapore shares, “We are excited to introduce our latest projects to the Deaf community. With the future of consumer engagement resting on new technologies, Grey has always been an advocate of harnessing digital innovations to help brands reach out to consumers more effectively. With these pro bono projects, we want to challenge our teams to think about the needs of the communities and explore how we can channel our expertise and knowledge to bring betterment to these communities. We are honoured that SADeaf has offered their full support to the development of Say it With Signs and Hearing Aide.”
“The Internet and smart phones have also made it possible for Grey to extend our reach to communities across the world. With the applications easily downloadable, anyone with a smart phone, all across the world, can benefit from them. We are hopeful that these innovations will benefit Deaf communities across the globe,” Shabaz continued.
Say it With Signs and Hearing Aide will be available free-of-charge at the Google Play Store from 25 April 2014 and are developed for Android devices.
There are an estimated 500,000 people who suffer from hearing impairments in Singapore and 360 million people who face disabling hearing loss1 in the world.
ABOUT GREY GROUP SINGAPORE
Grey is the global advertising network of Grey Group. Grey Group ranks among the largest global integrated communications companies. Its parent company is WPP (NASDAQ:WPPGY). Under the banner of “Grey Famously Effective Since 1917,” the agency serves a blue-chip client roster of many of the world’s best known companies: Procter & Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, Diageo, Pfizer, Canon, 3M, Eli Lilly, Boehringer Ingelheim and Allianz. Grey was featured in FAST COMPANY magazine’s “50 Most Innovative Companies in the World” issue in both 2010 and 2011. In the Asia Pacific region, Grey Group covers 28 cities in 16 countries. For information on Grey Group Asia Pacific, please visit: http://www.greygroupasiapacific.com.
ABOUT SINGAPORE ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF (SADeaf)
SADeaf was established by the Singapore Red Cross Society and the Social Welfare Department in 1955. SADeaf provides a range of services to assist the Deaf community in Singapore. These include education, employment support, counselling, interpretation, social care and financial assistance especially to the needy clients. Presently, SADeaf has more than five-thousand deaf clients.
SADeaf is a member of the National Council of Social Service (NCSS). Some of its programmes and services are co-funded by the Ministry of Education (MOE) and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF). It is also affiliated to the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and Children’s Charities Association (CCA).
For more information on SADeaf, please visit: http://www.sadeaf.org.sg