Pretty much all the children’s book-apps we write about have voice narration nowadays, but what about children who are deaf? A new app called Signed Stories aims to include them in the storytelling fun.
Its publisher is a well-known name: British broadcaster ITV. The app is the latest offshoot from the Signed Stories website, which also has a popular show on ITV’s children’s channel CITV.
The app will offer a collection of animated stories, all with sign language as well as traditional narration. ITV says the app could also be useful for children with autism, Asperger’s, dyslexia and Down’s Syndrome.
Signed Stories is a free download for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, with one story included for free: The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff. Other stories will be sold via in-app purchase, with prices at launch varying between £2.99 and £4.99, and a choice of British and American sign language.
Stories include Hansel and Gretel, and The Elves and the Shoemaker, but ITV is planning to work with several book publishers to bring their popular picture-books to the app in the coming months.
Extra features include a sign language video dictionary with some keywords, with 10 more added to it whenever you buy a new story. There are also two sign language games bundled with each story.
We think it’s an excellent idea, with a familiar brand that parents with deaf children are likely to trust. Here’s hoping it’s a big hit on the App Store.