UNIVERSITI Sains Islam Malaysia (USIM), through its platform for research and services involving the special needs community - the Ibnu Ummi Maktum Research Centre (UMMI), has unveiled a mobile app targeted at the hearing impaired to learn and recite the Quran.
According to project leader Dr Norakyairee Mohd Raus who also heads UMMI, Quran Isyarat - the Android-based Quranic sign language application - is the first of such project in Malaysia that has the potential to be a high impact product and is capable of being an international model for a deaf-friendly application of the Quran.
"In the context of the hearing impaired, their accessibility in interacting with the Quran is very limited. They can only look at the Quran and its contents without being able to recite it.
"Our application comprises special and unique features that enable the deaf to know, recite, read and understand the Quran more effectively and interactively according to their strengths and learning ability," said the senior lecturer at USIM's Faculty of Quranic and Sunnah Studies (FQSS).
Still in its first phase, the application showcases 11 selected surah. It features the Hijaiyyah Sign Code which is a sign language of Arabic letters, Makhraj transliteration of the Arabic language articulation points and video translation by sign language interpreters.
"The Hijaiyyah Sign Code is a form of hand gesture representing the letters of the Arabic alphabet used in the writing of the verses of the Quran. The use of this font will make it easier for the deaf community to study and memorise Quranic verses and share their mutual knowledge," said Norakyairee.
The development of Quran Isyarat has to date been funded through waqf funding.
"We aim to develop all 30 Juz' of the Quran for the app which would come to a total cost of RM604,000. The evaluation and training phase will require RM396,000 in investment," he said.
Quran Isyarat is downloadable at Google Playstore.