International sign language day : Smile, Koda and Sign of Meaning testify

  • 23 Sep 2020

More than 370 million people in the world suffer from a hearing disability, including more than 7 million in France. The question of inclusion in society and the adaptation of society to the specific needs of this part of the population arises.


A digital service company, an innovation competition and nearly 40 digital enthusiasts later, the KODA project was born.  


If the first goal was to give a voice to those who have none, the KODA project, launched by 4 technology enthusiasts, quickly took the turn to adapt society to deaf people, and not the other way around. 


September 23rd is therefore an opportunity to salute the work done by all the Tech for Good actors and actresses, at Smile as well as our partners, who work daily to innovate and contribute to a more accessible society.


KODA is also a partnership with Signe de Sens, a major player in accessibility for people with cognitive, sensory and psychic disabilities (deaf, blind, autism spectrum, intellectual disabilities, DYS disorders) which allows us to better understand the daily life and specific needs of its users.


Far from doing yet another technology project by technologists for able-bodied people, we wish to propose a pragmatic response to real needs that does not consider deaf people as second-class citizens.


CAP Digital and the Ile de France region are also actively supporting this project. We have also set up a European consortium with academics, linguists, deaf associations from all over Europe and other technology companies to take this magnificent project even further.


To find out more, we invite you to discover the interview with Simon Houriez, Director and Product Designer at Signe de Sens and Fabrice Dewasmes, Innovation Director at Smile. 

Journée internationale de la langue des signes

Key data Signe de Sens :
- Association under the law of 1901 created in 2003 in Lille
- A team of 17 people
- 150,000 users of our tools
- 1,500 partners from the fields of research and innovation, digital technology
Medical and social services, culture, local authorities and companies
- Mixed financing method: private sponsorship, public subsidies, own revenues
own income

Website :


KODA key data:
- Project created in 2018 during an innovation competition at SMILE
- A team of 4 people
- Major partnerships in the fight against cognitive disability, including Signe de Sens
- Financing by SMILE, the Ile de France region and CAP Digital


Key data SMILE : 
- Created in 1991
- European leader in digital and open source
- 1700 Smilers working on creative and innovative digital solutions
- Presence in 7 countries through 15 agencies

Website :