Over the past 11 years, the Student Enterprise Awards (SEAs) has seen some fantastic and promising student business ideas emerge out of classrooms all over the country.

It’s important to highlight that some of the student enterprises that don’t take the top prize at our National Final each year, do actually go on to achieve great business success.

One such company is Sign4Life, from Salesian College in Pallaskenry, Co. Limerick.

What is Sign4Life?

Sign4Life is an innovativeAndroid app that teaches sign language to non-deaf people, using video technology.

The application includes an introduction, an alphabet and signing video-clips for approximately 100 words. With signing done by two members of the Deaf Community Centre in Limerick, the template for the innovative app can be adapted to any international language.

The idea is the brainchild of a group of very enterprising TY students. The girls came up with their unique business idea while taking part in the SEAs. The class had the opportunity to hear from a guest speaker at the school from the Limerick Deaf Centre who spoke about the difficulties hearing impaired people experience when trying to communicate with non-hearing impaired people.  After the talk, the students identified a gap in the market for a useful tool to help teach sign languge in Ireland. And so Sign4Life was born!

The team went on the win the Regional Finals of the SEAs and went on to take part in the National Final in Croke Park that year. Since taking part in the event, the girls have received great publicity or their product, appearing in radio interviews and appearances on television shows such as the Late Late show and Junior Dragons Den. They also had the opportunity to present their business to the HSE and also to Enda Kenny in the Dáil.

Since taking part in the Student Enterprise Awards, the girls have gone on to enhance the graphics of the android version, create software for PCs and create and application for iOS. This provides them with a larger target market.

Their next step is to market the new updated products and make people aware of them. They hope to educate the people of Ireland about ISL and to bridge the communication gap between the deaf and hearing communities.

For more information or to download the app, go to the Google Play store and search for “Irish sign language”.