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Hand Talk Accessibility Plugin: ASL Translator for Websites

Hugo standing in front of the accessibility window of the Hand Talk Accessibility Plugin. He is smiling and has around him the icons of the American flag and ASL.

Have you ever wondered what an accessibility plugin does? Or did you want to know if it was possible to make your website accessible to the deaf community? Maybe you just wish to understand how to ensure your business is ADA compliant. Do not worry, we are here to answer all of those questions for you!

What is the Hand Talk Accessibility Plugin?

First of all, do you know what an accessibility plugin is? In simple terms, it is a type assistive technology in the form of a plugin, which is a software that can be installed on different programs and websites to enhance their performance. In this case, to enhance their accessibility.

Very well, now that that is settled, the Hand Talk Accessibility Plugin works as an ASL (American Sign Language) translator for websites. It promotes Sign Language accessibility on the web, in order to facilitate the access to information for the deaf community. Further along we will explain exactly how this technology works, so keep on reading!

Why is web accessibility important?

Did you know that only about 2% of websites are accessible in the United States? Meanwhile, over 25% of the United States’ population lives with some kind of disability, and approximately 6% of them is deaf or have serious difficulty hearing. 

Web accessibility is super important in order to break down barriers in virtual spaces. It makes it possible and easier for all kinds of different people to reach and understand online contents autonomously. 

Making the web accessible is good for everyone, not only for people with disabilities. For example, imagine that you want to watch a video while you are on public transport, but you do not have your headphones with you. Subtitles become very helpful then, right?

Also, web accessibility brings along some other very interesting benefits. Come check it out:

Establish inclusivity

This one is a bit more obvious. If you promote web accessibility, you will automatically be contributing to a more inclusive world, in a way that everyone will be able to participate in the virtual spaces you provide.

Increase audiences

If you are improving your website in order to make it accessible to everyone, it is safe to assume that more people that did not have access to it before will now become part of your audience, right? When your domains are not accessible you are not only missing out on potential customers with disabilities, but also their families and friends that will not support a brand that is not accessible.

Improve SEO rankings 

Search engines value accessibility, a lot. If your website is accessible, they will rank you higher, since they understand that your content is useful to a larger audience, and that your page is very well designed.

WCAG & ADA compliance

WCAG stands for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. They are an international organization focused on making the web more accessible, while providing guidance on how to do it. Meanwhile, ADA refers to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a national legislation that wants to ensure accessibility in the country.

By investing in web accessibility, you are in compliance with both of these standards!

Mitigate legal risk

As a natural consequence of the previous topic, if you do not comply with the law, you can expect to be fined, or even receive legal action. On the other hand, by being accessible and complying with the law, it is a simple way to mitigate legal risks.

Enhance usability & UI/UX

Last but not least, an accessible website tremendously improves the user experience for people with disabilities. Also, as we have said before, it makes its usability better for everyone. Even if you do not have a disability, a good and friendly interface can make life easier, with keyboard shortcuts or a nice color contrast, for example.

Is the Hand Talk Accessibility Plugin ADA compliant?

Yes! The ADA’s goal is to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities and ensure their inclusion in all means. The Hand Talk Accessibility Plugin does just that, by making your website’s content accessible for the deaf community in ASL.

How does the Hand Talk Accessibility Plugin work?

The Hand Talk Accessibility Plugin translates all written content in your website to ASL, with the use of Artificial Intelligence. After activating the Plugin’s accessibility window, the user will be introduced to Hugo or Maya, Hand Talk’s friendly 3D virtual translators, that translate texts in English to American Sign Language. Fun fact: the plugin can also perform translations from Portuguese to Libras (Brazilian Sign Language).

The websites that have the technology will open their doors to a new public of millions of people in an innovative and socially responsible way, giving autonomy to their deaf users. Let’s learn more about it!

Text translation

As we have mentioned, the Hand Talk Accessibility Plugin translates all texts in English from your web pages into ASL. An accessibility tip is to try to have short paragraphs of information, so the plugin translates less content at time, making it easier for the user to understand the context and absorb the information.

Image translation

Yes, it can also translate images! As long as your images have an alternative description, the Hand Talk Accessibility Plugin can access that text from the website’s code and translate it to Sign Language. Amazing, right?

Mobile version

The technology works well both in desktops and mobile devices, making it even more accessible to users to access information anytime and anywhere. 


Assistive technologies in general are a very powerful tool to promote inclusion and accessibility in the digital world. Accessibility plugins can come in many shapes and sizes, and it is always in your best interest to educate yourself on what they are and how they can help improve your business and your brand.

The Hand Talk Accessibility Plugin focuses on breaking down communication barriers between deaf and hearing people with the use of technology. It will soon be available in the United States, so do not waste any time and sign up to have access to all the latest updates and become a beta tester!

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