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Inspired by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) previous successes in speech recognition, we introduce a new task for sign language recognition research: a mobile one-way American sign language translator. We argue that such a device should be feasible in the next few years, may provide immediate practical benefits for the deaf community, and leads to a sustainable program of research comparable to early speech recognition efforts. We ground our efforts in a particular scenario, that of a deaf individual seeking an apartment and discuss the system requirements and our interface for this scenario. Finally, we describe initial recognition results of 94% accuracy on a 141 sign vocabulary signed in phrases of fours signs using a one-handed glove-based system and hidden Markov models (HMMs).