View all news

Innovations in information delivery for sign language users

Detail from the Centre staff page, BSL information section, of the new Centre for Deaf Studies website

Detail from the Centre staff page, BSL information section, of the new Centre for Deaf Studies website

11 July 2008

The Centre for Deaf Studies has launched a new website, and has teamed up with Avon Fire & Rescue Service to bring online fire safety messages to users of British Sign Language.

The University’s Centre for Deaf Studies, Europe’s first academic institution to concentrate solely on research and education that aims to benefit the Deaf community, has launched its innovative new website.

For British Sign Language (BSL) and International Sign users, the new website offers an immersive sign language experience, using full-screen digital video and unique navigable galleries to create small sign language web environments.

For non-sign language users (or people who want traditional written information plus access to BSL/International Sign translations), the information is presented in written English with BSL and International Sign translations as selectable video thumbnails.

The new website uses more rich-media, providing access to video testimonials from the Centre’s students and online e-learning demonstrations. The website has been condensed into fewer sections and the written content has been streamlined to allow easier navigation.

The Centre has also been working with Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) to help expand its website to bring vital fire safety messages to BSL users.

Using technology developed at the Centre for its popular daily news website Deafstation, a BSL playout system has been created to run parallel to the AF&RS regular website.

The site now features nine short films, covering a range of topics including chip pan safety advice, what to do in an emergency, planning an escape route and how to book a Home Fire Safety Visit.

It is hoped the films, which have been signed by Carolyn Nabarro, AF&RS’s Deaf Equality Officer, will reach out to a section of the community that may not have been able to access this information before.

Andy Colgan, AF&RS Head of Community Safety, said: ‘With our community safety work we aim to cater for the whole community. Expanding our website for people who use BSL is a fantastic way to engage with members of the community who may have been missing out on vital fire safety information.’

Edit this page