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According to the World Federation of the Deaf, there are approximately 72 million deaf people worldwide. Collectively, they use more than 300 different sign languages.
- Sign languages are structurally different from written and spoken languages
- Deaf people who use sign language often consider it to be their first language
- Lower English proficiency (LEP) means essential content in written form can be incomprehensible
- A shortage of interpreters (1:75 in the UK) doesn’t help
- As a result, deaf people may need to rely on friends and family
Deaf people are often excluded from access to essential content.
Organisations don’t always know the best way to break down barriers and realise their ambition to be Deaf-friendly. It’s difficult to know what to do and how to do it.
But organisations must provide equal access. Ignoring this is risky and there could be penalties for opting out. Plus there’s a social and financial ‘cost of doing nothing’.
It’s easy to forget that just because it’s written doesn’t mean it’s understood.
Barriers like this can result in Deaf customers being disadvantaged or feeling like second class citizens.
Some organisations offer a blend of the following:
- Face-to-face interpreting
- Video Relay Service (VRS)
- Others rely on written text
- Ad hoc methods - drawing, lipreading or the customer’s friends and relatives to help
- Deaf awareness training
- Saying it loudly or more slowly
But online, little has been done to make webpages Deaf-friendly.
Blind and low vision users access content online using screen readers. Wouldn't it be great if there was a sign language ‘screen reader’ for Deaf users?
Signly’s allows Deaf customers to self-serve, making access to sign language easy – an integrated part of the way an organisation does business. Users choose the best channel for them to access sign language.
Corporates now have more ways to fulfil their passion for inclusion, removing barriers so Deaf customers get the same level of service as everyone else.
If you like it, please share on social media and ask your bank or other website owners to activate Signly on their sites by contacting us.