A New App!

It’s true, I didn’t write the blog article that was due two weeks ago. I broke my promise. I was working on a different promise — and it’s finally at a place where we can start telling you about it. We have a new app that we expect to release this Christmas. Yes, by December 25, 2017!

We’re working on the “few small adjustments” that Pops is always talking about, then we’ll turn it over to the release team on the 15th. When they give us the go-ahead, you’ll be able to download it for your iPhone, Android, Windows, or Amazon device(s).

Welcome to a dream come true!

For a long time, we’ve wanted to provide an interactive tool for deaf children and their parents to engage with the scriptures and with one another. This isn’t that tool, but it’s a VERY BIG step towards bringing that tool to reality.

It started with a gift – a grant dedicated to a streaming app and large enough to jumpstart the project – and let me tell you, we’ve been jumping! We looked into what it would take to build such a thing from scratch with dedicated resources to code everything we wanted. Then we shrugged our shoulders and said, well, maybe later.

We tried another approach – asking what our friends were using to publish their videos. They told us about “The Church App” by Subsplash. We gave it a try, made a few small adjustments, and it worked!

The Church App is in wide use, and it was developed for common congregations. For instance, there’s a tool for logging in and getting notifications or joining small groups. We don’t expect to use that feature.

We have three videos for most of our content, because most of us don’t use captioning on our Sunday morning messages. (I wish we would – such a help for so many!) The developers have captioning on their list of things to do, and they’ll tell us as soon as that feature’s available. Until then, we’ll present material with No Captions, English Captions, and Spanish Captions, as available.

To make the captioning choices easy to identify, we’ve color-coded our selection buttons:

We’ve also arranged for all the videos with English or Spanish captions to be selected with one button on the Home screen. (It’ll be a long list!)

We plan to have weekly updates with more episodes, puzzles, coloring pages, devotions, and ways to grow in faith and wisdom.

We also have plans to give parents some insightful videos, articles, and information about ministry resources. But, there will be no exposed links. Once you put this app in your child’s hands, they’re kept behind a fence where everything they touch is something we provided (unless they’re the rare child that clicks on the developers’ credits).

God LOVES Deaf Kids – and we do too! We’re thrilled to have a new way to say so, in a language your children can understand clearly.

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