When the coronavirus pandemic began confining people to their homes early last year, the use of video conference platforms exploded. In many ways, reliance on video conferencing has transformed the way deaf people communicate.

One adaptation arises as a result of a video meeting’s limited frame size. “The [ASL] signing space is expansive,” says Michael Skyer, a senior lecturer of deaf education at the Rochester Institute of Technology. “Even if many signs are produced easily or normally in the ‘Zoom screen’ dimensions, many are not.” The sign for “body,” for example, is usually produced by making a “B” handshape and moving it from the shoulders to the hips. But to fit the reduced signing space demanded by videoconferencing, many signers have been ending it at the chest.

In person vs Zoom full body comparison

You can read the full report published by Scientific American [here].