Development Bank (DBJ) provides $7.3 million to develop software for deaf students

Kingston, Jamaica — The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ) has provided $7.3 million to the University of Technology (UTech) to continue the development of the U-Touch multi-media software, designed to enhance the learning process for deaf and hearing impaired students.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the parties today (January 14) to undertake phase two of the project, U-Touch 2.

The signing, which took place at UTech’s Papine campus in St Andrew also involved the Lister Mair Gilby School for the Deaf, (LMG) which has been partnering with UTech since the development of the software in 2010.

The software uses both Jamaican sign language and Jamaican Standard English and functions on both computers and android platforms, to improve the understanding and use of the English language and enhance reading and comprehension skills, among deaf and hard of hearing students, at the pre-primary to high school levels.

Speaking at the signing, Acting President, UTech, Ambassador Burchell Whiteman, said the project is “satisfying” as it demonstrates UTech’s commitment to improving the lives of marginalised groups.

“I feel very pleased that UTech, as a result of this particular project, will be identified in the public mind as being a good citizen, and also committed to the service of the people,” he said.

He thanked DBJ for supporting the project and “enabling it to take wings and reach higher levels and impact significantly more people.

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