ITV is rolling out an animated storytelling app with British and American Sign Language called Signed Stories. The app includes a mixture of sign language and technology including subtitles, narration, animation and music to make books easier to read for children with deafness as well as those with special needs including autism, Asperger’s, dyslexia and Down Syndrome.
ITV is creating digital versions of a wide range of picture books for the app in partnership with several children’s publishers. For the launch, however, an array of contemporary stories, updated folktales and fairytales are being provided exclusively from pubco Child’s Play.
The Signed Stories app is now free to download through Apple’s All store on iOS devices including the iPad, iPhone and includes a free version of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. All books featured within the app will be individually priced.
Caregivers are able to customize the app to suit an individual child’s needs and guidance notes on how to get the most out of each book are also included. The app comes with a free British Sign Language or American Sign Language video dictionary, which grows each time a new book is downloaded. The iPad app also carries free games inside each story download.
Signed Stories was user tested by deaf children, children with special educational needs and parents before its launch. It was produced by ITV SignPost, the company’s specialist sign language production house in Gateshead, UK, and designed by Newcastle-based media company Komodo Digital.