Gallaudet and DawnSignPress partner on the creation of an ASL digital dictionary

November 03, 2017

Author: Kaitlin Luna

During the week of October 23, DawnSignPress (DSP) was on campus working on a new project, an online ASL dictionary. DSP creates, develops, and publishes ASL and Deaf Culture-related media and books. DSP staff members also visited campus as part of a Deaf Culture Immersion Trip.

DSP CEO Joe Dannis worked with Dr. Benjamin Bahan, '79, professor of ASL and Deaf Studies, Dr. Beth Benedict, '80 & PhD-'83, executive director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach, Dr. MJ Bienvenu, '74 & G-'83, professor of ASL and Deaf Studies, and Lisa Jacobs, '81, director of National Outreach on the dictionary. Dannis, who also served as executive director of the dictionary project, said the shoot was the culmination of years of work by Drs. Bahan, Benedict, Bienvenu, Jacobs, and him. The initial ASL dictionary will have 3,000 to 4,000 signs and features sign models from the Gallaudet community.

“It's very exciting to see the project go into this phase of production," said Dannis. "It was a great experience working with the developers and the amazing sign models in the first of many video shoots to capture the thousands of ASL signs we want to include in the dictionary."

The dictionary is expected to be released in early 2019.

Top photo: DSP CEO Joe Dannis, developer MJ Bienvenu, and sign model April Jackson during the shoot. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Ryan.

Middle photo: It's a wrap! Last day of filming, developer Ben Bahan, cameraman Colin Shepard, director Rebecca Ryan, crew member Stephen Patch, crew member Jesse Jones, sign model Roy Barron, crew member Krista Santacroce, makeup artist Tia Albert, Dannis. Photo courtesy of Rebecca Ryan.

Bottom photo: From left to right and counter-clockwise: Edwin and Brianna Guzman and daughter, Ross Denny, Javier Torres Ortiz, Stephen Patch, Susan Gold, Joe Dannis, Tina Jo Breindel.