Signly’s Social Return on Investment report [for Microsoft] didn’t just look at how well objectives were achieved, but most importantly, at all the changes that result in people’s lives. The study looked to see what Signly’s impact was on Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) customers, with the results helping the company to improve and further report on its value in the years to come.

Users said in interviews that Signly saves them time by enabling them to access information by choice or do things they otherwise couldn’t.

Deaf people are sometimes forced to use friends, family and interpreters to interact with services or understand information on websites, undermining their privacy. Users felt Signly increases their privacy and self-esteem.

Sometimes when I phone somebody, like the bank, or online banking, and it goes through to a third person, the bank is very suspicious, and I have to share my passwords and finances with a third person.

Signly gives Deaf people choice, and they can pick the information they want anytime:

Well, I think it would definitely change my life in that I wouldn’t then have to rely upon my family and friends, because honestly I do hate the fact that they have to kind of spoon feed me and in effect control my life still to a degree, despite the fact that I’m an adult.

Removing dependence on others was a key theme highlighted in responses, whether that be interpreters or family members.

Many deaf people are left out because everything is in English everywhere, and so we miss so much information compared to everybody else. I am trying to learn second-hand, third hand through friends and family, which means that we can’t always have our say.

Users said in interviews that Signly puts deaf people on the radar in terms of the rest of society, adding that if translation was a normal thing on every website, stigma would be reduced and they would feel less marginalised, making them feel more equal and included:

The main thing is accessibility. I feel normal. I feel like my hearing peers […] like I’m included in the world […] like I’m on the same level

The use of Signly demonstrating that the rights of Deaf people are being acknowledged was also highlighted in responses.

This would respect our rights to having information in our language.

Users said Signly makes them feel less stressed and improves their mental health, describing a life without the tool as being frustrating, embarrassing and stressful.

[It would] be a whole new world. You wouldn't have the stress of having to do phone calls or waiting for the information. It would just be very smooth and very fluent without distress. You feel good about what just happened, not just being left in the lurch.