New app helps deaf and hard of hearing kids watch movies – Shaw Local

When high school student Brooke Scott saw a post on social media about the SignUp app, she quickly contacted its developer Mariella Satow.

According to the app’s GoFundMe page, SignUp is a free Google Chrome extension that brings American Sign Language to the screen alongside children’s movies on Disney+.

Scott, a senior at Plainfield East High School and president of the PEHS American Sign Language Club, said she wanted to help Satow raise money for the app. Funds raised are used to cover the costs of hiring performers, social media advertising and technology development, the GoFundMe page said.

“Like its creator, watching Disney movies was a memorable part of my childhood. I loved watching movies with my brother,” Scott said in an email. “Every child deserves to have these memories and to be able to watch Disney movies in a language they communicate and understand. Having access to an app that enables deaf and hard of hearing communities to take advantage of this opportunity is revolutionary. That’s what motivated me to reach out to Mariella Satow and help create a positive impact on this community.

What makes Disney+ so special?

“I think the messages in Disney movies are crucial for learning,” Scott said. “They can change a person.”

Scott and the ASL club held bake sales and a raffle, which raised $450, Scott said. That, along with Scott spreading the word on his own social media accounts, led to a total of $675 being raised for SignUp, Scott said. Scott hopes to raise a total of $2,500.

She hopes her efforts will allow Satow to expand her platform. The GoFundMe page said the expansion could include Netflix, Hulu and other streaming services and an opportunity to develop a mobile/tablet version of the app.

ASL club sponsor Cortney Troy praised Scott’s initiative in a District 202 press release.

“I love seeing the passion with her,” Troy said in the statement. “She is very excited and I hope this inspires other students to do positive things.”

Scott herself plans to double major in environmental studies and American Sign Language at the University of South Florida in South Carolina. In fact, Scott thinks supporting the SignUp app has also benefited Scott.

“It gave me the opportunity to find my voice,” Scott said.

To donate to the SignUp app, visit gofund.me/c7ae5940.

About Stuart M. McFarland

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