What We Did
Deaf Sign Language users are usually excluded from walking into a public service organisation or cultural organisation and using a service, unless an interpreter has been booked in advance. Getting an interpreter typically needs one months’ notice and can be very expensive. In many cases, Deaf people just have to get by without any Sign Language access.SignVideo have developed a service whereby deaf people can have easier access to services using remote computer links and/or videophone with interpreters. Presently this service is only being used by a limited number of Local Authorities and health service providers. We carried out a Research and Development trial using this service within a cultural venue.
The R&D would looked at 3 areas of use:
1) integrating the SignVideo service into a ‘salon’ or artist’s talk with the BSL interpretation shown screen-in-screen as part of the venue projection making it accessible to all d/Deaf audience members. The BSL would be embedded into the session recording ready for watching on-demand..
2) We used SignVideo within gallery tours where a deaf audience member could use a HSDPA enabled (post 3G) mobile videophone and/or Apple iPad Wi-Fi to access the SignVideo service giving them a chance to participate in the conversation and be empowered by being actively involved in the process.
3) We installed SignVideo at the Cornerhouse box office for booking tickets to any ANDfest events live, over the internet or via video phone.
We will worked with SignVideo and their software developers to adapt their service for a wider range of situations – testing out, integrating and streamlining existing SignVideo tools and software for ease of use in an arts venue. By choosing different situations and circumstances we hoped to align and fine-tune these technologies to provide simple useable solutions for Deaf users.
We were particularly keen to develop the SignVideo service for mobile devices. Creating a secure Wifi link from NorthernNet to expand the video connection out of the Media Access Bureau and around the [Cornerhouse] building to use HSPA (post 3g) mobile network connection enabling us to take advantage of the much higher bandwidth for live interpretation where standard WiFi or 3G would not be sufficient.
The full evaluation report including suggested ways forward is attached below.