ITV Launches World's First Children's Storybook App With Sign Language

    ITV Launches World's First Children's Storybook App With Sign Language

PR Newswire

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 15, 2012

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 15, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --ITV announced the launch of the
world's first animated storytelling app with British and American Sign
Language. The Signed Stories app is designed to make reading fun for all
children.

"ITV is proud to be creating a digital product which every child can enjoy.
Anytime, anyplace viewing is becoming the norm and we believe that all
children should be able to enjoy the mobile digital world," said Adam Crozier,
Chief Executive Officer at ITV.

The Signed Stories app is fully accessible in sign language, subtitles,
narration, animation and music. It aims to make books easier to read for
children with deafness and those with special educational needs including
autism, Asperger's, dyslexia and Down Syndrome.

"This project is near and dear to my heart because my niece Gabriela is
hearing impaired," said Paul Buccieri, Managing Director of ITV Studios
International and President and CEO ITV Studios America. "'We are proud to
have the app available in North America with Keith Wann and Peter Cook
presenting the stories. Signed Stories helps serve those who have serious
hearing and special needs and this is a wonderful initiative for me
personally, and for ITV Studios America to be associated with."

As part of the app, ITV is creating digital versions of a wide range of
award-winning picture books in partnership with leading children's publishers.
On its first release, the app will feature books suitable for early years and
primary school children, including contemporary stories, updated folktales and
fairytales exclusively from international book publisher, Child's Play.

"In 2008, we embraced wholeheartedly the opportunity to work with the Signed
Stories website, and we're delighted and honored to be chosen by ITV as their
launch partner for this exciting new venture," said Neil Burden, publisher and
CEO at Child's Play.

"These apps continue and further our attempts to make our publishing as
accessible and inclusive as possible. They stand out from the myriad of
book-based apps currently published for children in that they have manifestly
useful and engaging content, outstanding production values and, perhaps most
of all, genuine purpose."

Two of the leading American Sign Language (ASL) storytellers - Keith Wann and
Peter Cook - present the stories for the North American market, which includes
the United States and English-speaking regions of Canada.

"The mixture of sign language and technology is incredible and opens the door
for more access to learning. As a native user and advocate of ASL literacy I
was honored to be a part of ITV's Signed Stories app and to give back to the
community I grew up in," said Keith Wann, ASL Storyteller. "My 2 and 4 year
old hearing children love sharing the signed stories app with their deaf
grandmother and in return they share laughter and learning together!"

The Signed Stories app will initially be available on iOS devices including
the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The app will be available through Apple's App
store from October 16, 2012 - it will be free to download and includes a free
version of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. All books featured within the app will
be individually priced. To download the App, search "Signed Stories" in the
iTunes App Store or follow this link, http://bit.ly/PxHtJc.

Users are able to customize the app to suits their individual needs. Parents,
caregivers and teachers can benefit from the app's guidance notes on how to
get the most out of each book. The app also comes with a free British Sign
Language or American Sign Language video dictionary, which grows each time a
new book is downloaded. The iPad app also carries free games inside each story
download.

The app was user tested by deaf children, children with special educational
needs and parents before its launch. It was produced by ITV SignPost, the
company's specialist sign language production house in Gateshead, UK, and
designed by Newcastle-based media company Komodo Digital.

About Signed Stories

The Signed Stories brand was originally launched in 2008 as a free website
supported by a host of celebrities including Dame Helen Mirren, Joanna Lumley,
Robbie Coltrane and Zoe Wanamaker.

Backed by the UK Children's Laureate Julia Donaldson, it's already won awards
from the Royal Television Society, the National Literacy Trust, RADAR, the
Plain English Campaign and the UK IT Industry for its work on inclusion. It
has attracted viewers from over 100 countries.

It's also grown into a successful television series currently screening on
CITV - the only children's programme on TV in the UK with a deaf presenter.

This news release was issued on behalf of Newswise™. For more information,
visit http://www.newswise.com.

Media Contacts:
Kirsten Holguin
kirstenholguin@gmail.com
805-796-0038

SOURCE ITV Broadcasting Limited

Website: http://www.newswise.com
 
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