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Defera - Service Platform for Visual Language Users and Interpreters to Communicate with Spoken Languages Users

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Defera (Defera - Service Platform for Visual Language Users and Interpreters to Communicate with Spoken Languages Users)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-08-31

There are about 5.3% of deaf and hard of hearing people in the world and only few sign language interpreters. In Europe, there is an average of one sign language interpreter serving 62 sign language users. But the density varies, e.g. in Germany, this ratio is 1/ 400. Despite many attempts in research and other automated technologies, none of these have fully replaced human interpreters. Current human interpreting service models are expensive and limited in time and space, thus they do not meet the users’ needs. Defera solves the following problems for the consumer:
• Language as a barrier to social interaction
• No immediate interpreter availability
• Too few language-pair choices within current services
• Service providers don’t meet with needs
• Lack of affordable interpretation
• More demand than supply.

Defera builds a “one-stop-shop” service platform – branded Chabla - for connecting sign language users with interpreters with a push of a button, from anywhere any time. It provides a wonderful free communication experience for all deaf and hard of hearing people, coupled with high quality product and free calls from deaf to deaf. Defera will make a huge difference to all its customers!

The DEFERA project was run in order to:
1. Define the precise scope of work for the technical activities required to take Defera to full commercialization by the end of 2018.
2. Research to further detail the go to market strategy, commercialisation and financial plan, and establish business models for targeted markets with partners for future exploitation.
3. Set specific risks and prevention/contingency/mitigation measures related to market saturation.
Proof of Concept achieved through service design methods in collaboration with potential clients and experts. Technical testing and user interface design verified together with a user panel consisting of participants from Finland, Denmark, France, Germany and United Kingdom. The platform is ready for launch of the end product and designed to be easily scalable and simple to update with additional services.

Initial market research completed and the product and service have been tested with an international testing panel for these first five countries. Go-to-market strategy has also been developed. The project also assisted in creating an IPR strategy and a partnering strategy with the right local actors.

The SME 1 finalised the business plan for the new product and provided a clear way forward.
Defera is changing the current business models in accessing sign language translation service with a mobile platform. Defera service starts as the human driven service business that will be efficient and affordable to users, and appealing to interpreters. The Defera service product offering is unique with good quality of service. We base our quality supply with the high-end interpreting skills available to us in the selected primary markets.

Impact on users will be better quality of life and better job opportunities for both users and interpreters. It will be also easier for many governments to make the recognition and promotion of the use of sign language a reality, implementing the “European Disability Strategy for 2010-2020” and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, through a business-driven service provision.
Logo of Signmark Productions
Description of Defera project's Chabla tool and service
Logo of the new Chabla service