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New Sign Language Developed To Describe Solar System

Update Date: Feb 08, 2014 03:48 PM EST
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A team of researchers in Scotland have developed a series of new signs that would explain our solar system in sign language. 

The development that comes under a project by Scottish government, has especially created more than 90 signs. 

Until now, the British Sign Language lacked specific signs that depicted astronomical terms, planets and stars. 

"Until we created these, people had to finger spell the planets. People know what the planets are but they don't really get an idea what they're like," said Tania Johnston, senior public engagement officer at the Royal Observatory Edinburgh, according to BBC

"It was definitely about making it accessible to the deaf community and BSL users but also to make sure that the signs had visual aspects to them, that really got across the different concepts."

The project was endorsed by Gerry Hughes who was the first deaf man to sail alone around the world. "It's brilliant to see especially created signs in BSL. They have created signs for each and every planet. It's fantastic to see it portrayed in a visual means," he said according to BBC News

The signs were created by the Scottish Sensory Centre,Heriot Watt university and the Royal Observatory Edinburgh. 

"Deaf people have been excluded from enjoying astronomy. Previously if they went along to the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh they've been excluded from the information, the lectures and presentations that take place there," said Dr Audrey Cameron, the Scottish Sensory Centre spokesman, to BBC News.

"At the Royal Observatory of Edinburgh they want to have access for deaf people, that's why they're working with us - deaf scientists and deaf linguists - to create new signs."

The new signs can be viewed online at the center's website.

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