One Voice Wales

Sign Solutions – helping councils provide better access for the Deaf community

The Deaf community has always faced barriers when accessing public services and, as COVID-19 continues to spread, Deaf people are met with even more challenges, from navigating public health information to booking GP appointments and understanding changes to services that may affect them.  

Furthermore, many of the 12 million people who are Deaf or have hearing loss rely on lip-pattern and facial expression to communicate and, with the use of face coverings in certain indoor settings now mandatory to reduce infection spread, many Deaf people have been left frustrated, isolated and unable to communicate properly in public.

Lockdown measures are being reintroduced in parts of Wales, including Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham, and now more than ever it is crucial that councils ensure they provide Deaf people with equal access to vital information and services.

In today’s digital world, accessing a British Sign Language [BSL] interpreter on demand is easier than ever. Our technologies and services are readily available for councils to book interpreters at the click of a button, whether for meetings at council sites, leisure centres, tourism offices, cultural centres or anything else. We can set this up via video if a meeting or appointment is taking place where face-to-face contact is limited, for example, we already work with Conwy council to help the local Deaf community access its services over the phone via a BSL video relay service.

 We can also help you make public information available on your website with BSL translation, to ensure local Deaf people can easily get hold of it in their preferred language.

Our InterpretersLive! service, powered by Starleaf, delivers real-time access to qualified and registered British Sign Language [BSL] interpreters using a secure encrypted and ISO27001 accredited, HD quality video platform.

The Starleaf platform has millions of users worldwide and is already familiar to the Deaf community in the UK, who use it to contact a range of organisations free of charge in their first or preferred language of BSL.

For more information on how Sign Solutions could help you, visit www.signsolutions.uk.com.