Above: The project's prototype interactive UI. Users will be able to choose between Afrikaans, English and Setswana with ample provision for hard of hearing and deaf users in the form of Sign Language interpreting and subtitling of all video content. Shown here is Language Directorate director Prof Marlene Verhoef giving the interactive presentation's introduction.

Every now and then I'm lucky enough to receive a project on my desk that really allows me to push the technical envelope a little. A combination video/interactive project for the NWU's Language Directorate is turning out to be one of these really cool projects that presents a couple of technical challenges I just love to solve. The NWU's Language Directorate is all about multilingualism and translation and one of the main project requirements was to have all content available in the NWU's three official languages. However, Prof Marelene Verhoef and her team also wanted to reach out to the hard of hearing and deaf community and the decision was taken early on to incorporate Sign Language interpreting into the project's video content.

I had the pleasure of working with Language Directorate's Karien Brits and Sign Language interpreter Ananda van der Walt and on a green screen shoot recently to film the Sign Language interpreting of the project's video narration. Doing something like this made me realise just how incredibly hard it must be to do effective Sign Language interpreting in a real world, high stress situation. Hats off to skilled folks like Ananda! She has a blog of her own called Deaf at Heart and it is really worth checking out.  Visit Ananda's page at http://deafheart.blogspot.com/

Above: Sign Language interpreter Ananda van der Walt. The next time you watch the evening news, give a thought to the skilled person signing away furiously at the bottom corner of your TV screen and know that you are watching one of the hardest jobs in television...  

The project is still in production but keep an eye on our YouTube channel for the completed video clips in a few weeks' time.

Above and below: the project's green screen shoot gave me my first opportunity to use my new Flolight LED camera light. Early indications are that its the perfect filler light for mobile green screen shoots.