About us

SignHow is a visual resource designed by deaf co-founders and created by the Deaf community. Our platform was born from the struggle of our two Australian Deaf co-founders who faced challenges finding deaf friendly resources that provided easy access to all the existing sign languages in the world.

At SignHow, we firmly believe it is important to present sign languages in their natural form by Deaf communities. There are over 300 different sign languages worldwide, including deafblind and indigenous sign languages. Sign languages also vary from one country to another, with some being recognised as community languages such as Auslan (Australian sign language), while others may have stronger recognition like NZSL (New Zealand Sign Language).

Join us on SignHow and see all the sign languages that the Deaf community around the world has to offer.

With SignHow you can search in:
  • Signs in available languages
  • If no sign yet, SignHow will show you how to fingerspell the word

So far, we have 4466 signs in Auslan.

These features are FREE and we plan to keep it this way: we’re committed to making sure all signs on SignHow are available to our community, whenever you need them.

Members of SignHow have access to additional features including:
  • Viewing signs in categories
  • Saving your favourite signs for quick access
  • Uploading your own signs into your private library (especially useful for families, students and teachers)
These learning tools are available in our standard paid membership. These tools will deepen your learning and understanding, and your membership fee enables our team to build our database of signs faster.

SignHow is the only online community sign platform in the world where deaf people can add signs in their own sign language and considering there are over 300 sign languages worldwide, we think this is important!

We also believe every Deaf person belongs on SignHow. This is a space where everyone feels welcome and valued, regardless of their background or level of signing expertise.

At SignHow, we want to preserve older signs that may not be used as often. Why? We believe it’s valuable for generations to come and to catch glimpses of history. Sign languages are an important part of our shared cultural heritage.

SignHow offers the unique opportunity for you to develop your sign language skills faster by providing natural exposure to the variety of signs used in different deaf communities locally.

Our platform is the only organised community resource of its kind, designed to enhance your learning experience and accelerate your progress. You might even recognise some familiar faces from SignHow in your local Deaf community events, further fostering a sense of connection and community.

Right now, we have over 4466 signs in Auslan.

Join us at SignHow.

At SignHow, our mission is to bring people from all backgrounds and abilities together including those who are Deaf, hard of hearing, and hearing. We do this by empowering Deaf people to share signs they use within their own local communities. By doing this, we help foster stronger connections between people while building confidence in their language and skills.

While our ultimate goal is to create a global community sign language resource, we are taking it step-by-step. Our current focus is on developing a comprehensive resource for Auslan (Australian sign language) that includes signs used by Deafblind people. Once we establish this language, we plan to expand our efforts to other sign languages with the aim of creating a global resource for all sign languages.

Yes, it is a big project, but we are super committed to making this a reality for you. Stay tuned for our next steps on other languages on our social media.

Our team have three different processes:
  1. For Australia, we organise small signing parties in areas where there are strong deaf communities and we have Auslan consultants on site to help each deaf person film, edit, review and upload signs onto SignHow based on their level of linguistic knowledge and the contextual signs they use.
  2. Online public signs included on SignHow, are signs found on platforms including Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. We ask the Deaf person directly for their consent to share their signs on SignHow.
  3. Corporate sponsorships: this is coming soon! Please contact us for more information.

Who are the people adding signs onto SignHow?
Our team collaborate in small groups of 5-15 Deaf people to discuss, film, review and upload signs onto SignHow. We take in factors such as each deaf person’s fluency, knowledge, background, expertise in specific topics. All Deaf people who we invite to add signs have to meet the minimum level of fluency to contribute signs to SignHow. If not ready, we encourage Deaf people to keep improving their signing skills so that one day, they can also be represented on SignHow as part of the authentic Deaf community and part of their community sign language.

We also build word lists for each Deaf person, ensuring to match certain signs with their current fluency, knowledge and skills. This ensures every deaf person feels confident signing to the best of their ability and happy to represent themselves as part of the deaf community on SignHow.

We include Deaf people from all ages, genders, locations and backgrounds. We believe this diversity shown on SignHow is important: it shows authentic representation of the Deaf community in a country - showing older signs to newer signs, dialects, accents and signing styles.

This means SignHow does not exclude deaf people to represent on SignHow. This platform is a community resource made by the deaf community for everyone to learn from. In addition, we work to ensure Deaf people are fairly compensated for their work on SignHow, this is not voluntary work unless specified otherwise.

If you are looking for a linguistic-based resource in Auslan, we recommend Signbank. However, please note that Signbank does not have all the linguistic indicators such as facial expressions, mouthing and body movement, variations and modified signs. It is a bank of common Auslan signs for linguistic research purposes. These missing features are crucial to many sign languages such as Auslan. This is why SignHow shows signs in full embodiment. We believe that this is a more true representation of signs commonly seen around the deaf communities, and less confusing for many people wanting to improve their signing skills.

Signs are moderated by our team, sign language consultants and with your feedback. If you want us to review signs to check if they are correct, please email us [link: contact us]. Our goal is to incorporate signs that are commonly used in the Deaf community, however we’re mindful not to include home signs at this stage. This is currently being discussed and reviewed by several members of the Deaf community, to decide collectively in the near future. We value and respect the input and insights of the Deaf community in our efforts to create a comprehensive and accurate sign language resource. When possible, we check each sign by:
  • Referring to Signbank
  • Checking other research backed sign language resources
  • Checking with Deaf individuals and groups on Facebook, Instagram and reliable resources moderated by the Deaf community
  • Checking with local deaf people to verify that they use the signs in that location

While we go to great lengths to check our signs are verified, you may find signs on our platform that are less commonly used and we keep some these here for the following reasons:
  • Signs that are used in certain regions of Australia or within sub groups within the Deaf community
  • Signs that are specific to someone’s work or life and could be relevant to others (ie. Deaf individuals may have specific knowledge of law, beekeeping, science and more)
  • They could be signs that were previously used in certain deaf schools.
  • We also may make exceptions based on the discretion of both the team and our community. 

SignHow checks every sign that is on our platform and our intention is to ensure all signs are correct and relevant to our members. If you think a sign needs to be reviewed, please flag it with us by emailing us here.

Over 4466 signs in Auslan on SignHow.
  • 435 categories, dialects and locations reviewed, recorded and identified to help you understand the context of a sign and where it is often seen and used
  • 60 Deaf people and their signs on the platform, all use Auslan in their daily lives
  • 1312 members in our online community that use SignHow to learn and be exposed to a wide variety of signs used by communities across Australia.
  • 3 signing parties where local deaf communities have come together to collaborate, discuss and record signs seen and used within their communities.

  • Capturing a wide variety of signs by Deaf people living across Australia
  • Collaborating with Deaf Australian Elders to preserve older Auslan signs and ensure they are included and preserved
  • Building better learning features that are beneficial for everyone

SignHow is a work in progress and we're glad you are joining us on this journey. SignHow is a platform that compliments other signing resources - it is not a replacement for other learning resources. We will keep building the platform and we look forward to having SignHow representing all Deaf communities around the world!

SignHow is here to create exposure to a huge range of local community signs - a great tool to aid your learning.
SignHow helps build confidence with using new signs.

SignHow fosters understanding for the wide range of signs we use in the deaf community
Join us!

Get started today by recording signs and uploading them to your private library - a useful activity to practise, improve and review your signing skills. If you are a Deaf person wanting to be part of SignHow, please contact us here, we would love to connect with you!