JASLL community! Thank you to those of you who contributed to JASLL’s first Special Issue on “Deafening Music: Transcending Sound in Musicking”. We’re preparing to launch our second Special Issue. Here, we confront another topic in need of reclaiming, that of various technologies developed to “help” deaf people communicate more effectively with non-signers. Two examples are the “SignAloud” gloves which are purported to translate signs into speech and the 3D printed robot which claims it can interpret sign language.

Several people have written critiques of these technologies, noting why they are not as feasible as their inventors claim, but also crucially, calling out the lack of involvement of deaf, skilled signers who could consult on such a project.

This special issue calls for abstracts which critically analyze these and other technologies both with respect to their (in)feasibility and also lack of inclusion. Analysis from a variety of disciplines is encouraged, including but not limited to, linguistics, education, interpretation, deaf studies, among others.

As a guide, consider this article from 2017 which tackles one such invention.

The proposed/approximate timeline for this project is detailed below:

Proposed (and likely approximate) timeline for JASLL Special Issue

15 November 2018: Publish Call for Abstracts on JASLL social media sites

15 February 2019: Begin review of submitted abstracts (including recruiting and assigning review team(s))

1 April 2019: Inform authors of accepted abstracts and share specifications for video articles

1 August 2019: Collect article drafts and send for review

15 September 2019: Collect reviews and inform authors of decisions/feedback. Give specifications for revisions.

1 November 2019: Collect revised articles

1 December 2019: Send final videos in for editing

15 February 2020: Publish 2nd Special Issue on JASLL