SLinto Project -Free Online Dictionary of Sign Languages-

A free online dictionary SLinto with Sign Language Keyboard will solve the disparity between the Deaf society and the Hearing society.

Photo of Junto Ohki
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I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

ShuR Co., Ltd.

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Scaling (the solution has passed the previous stages and is growing its impact on a regional or global scale)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $50k - $100k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • More than 100,000

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Headquarters location: Country

  • Japan

Headquarters location: City


Location(s) of impact

America, India, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea


Facebook URL

Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?

We address the disparities between sign language and spoken language. When new spoken words such as company names or terminology are created, there are no official equivalents in sign language, or no platform that lets them effectively search for the corresponding meaning in spoken language. With around 70 million people who use sign language as their first language and no less than 120 types of sign language worldwide, this is a significant problem for the global community.

Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?

We have developed SLinto, which is a software solution to both of the disparities listed above. It is an online sign language dictionary that is free to use and crowd-sourced. Users submit a new sign for a new spoken word, the community votes on the best sign and collectively adopts it as part of the national sign language. We moderate the community and support the website with minimal advert placements. For each submission, the user records a video and supplements with our second solution, which is the world’s first sign language keyboard. It is a digital overlay that maps parts and motions of the hand to regular keyboard keys. When users browse the database, they are able to search for a specific word, view a short GIF of a person signing it, and the SLinto keyboard input in a picture format. This function also works when searching for the sign first, using the SLinto keyboard.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work

SLinto enables the sign language community to participate fully with spoken language communities, to collaborate with fellow sign language users, and to preserve and develop the language. The digital and adaptable nature of the platform will aid communication and interpretation of sign to spoken language, particularly as more users build the database. Additionally, we see SLinto as a catalyst to encourage companies and brands to think of their identities in sign language because of the consumer demographic represented by sign language users. SLinto gives ownership to the community as it develops the language. Since the decision-making process is democratized, the community’s identity is strengthened as a result. By accounting for the different dialects present in a country’s sign language, we can preserve the information and share it with all sign language users as well.

Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?

In 5 years, we anticipate 60 % of the annual budget will be composed of grants. The investment at present is rather for the Video Relay Service project than for the SLinto project. Our product is very similar to Wikipedia however we are targeting only 70million Deaf people in the world not all population of the world so we decided to be hybrid because we think it is hard to raise enough money for asking users to donate us like Wikipedia does.

Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?

SLinto is simple enough to work with all keyboard and brings decision making to the Deaf themselves.

Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.

When I started SL at the University, I was as an outsider who could hear and speak like the majority of the world’s population. The world we live in is built on that basis. Simple things such as access to phone calls, the ability to ask for help in a store, music, or any form of entertainment are not readily available for the SL community. When I started learning, it was just a hobby and I was not aiming to help the SL community at first. Now, I strongly believe that everyone has a responsibility to help improve the situation. We now have the technology to increase social inclusion, and that drives me further to work on this challenge.

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Ashoka page or contact


Join the conversation:

Photo of Fohla

Hello Junto !! I am Fohla from Benin in West Africa! Your project is GREAT ! Really it hits me between my eyes ;) !!! when I read you, i felt kind of you were not 100% convinced that your approach was outstanding, am I wrong? You should really keep on the track you have something amazing there ! It will obviously require some more work on the signs plateform (may be voting, commenting, being reviewed by wisdom collège? Extend it ti international dictionaries) and the key board plate form (a joystick, 3d mouvement captors ?). Anither thing I am 100% you are not a mini-wikipedia but more a mini-uber, think about the free business model approach (ex : brands may pays to have their name in sign?). Work with other, share, brainstorm, link with big brands like sony/apple/google/Microsoft ! you can achieve a game changing project there. Congratulations!

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