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Archive for August, 2016

22 AugVideo Relay Service

Today, Santander Consumer Finance (SCF), in partnership with SignVideo, has launched a Video Relay Service (VRS), for the British Sign Language (BSL) community.

The service is available for all account servicing, supporting customers with many of their day to day account queries and transactions. The service enables deaf BSL-using customers to place video calls to SCF via a free and secure video link on its website. The video call instantly connects to a BSL interpreter at SignVideo, who then phones the SCF contact centre relaying the conversation in real time.

Read the full Press Release

To view the list of Organisations/Companies offering VRS, please visit our website at http://deafcouncil.org.uk/deaf-access-to-communications/video-relay-directory/

 

 

03 AugNew study casts light on synaesthesia among signed language users

Many synaesthetes experience colours when viewing letters or digits but a new research study involving academics from UCL, has for the first time, documented a similar phenomenon among users of signed languages.

Synaesthesia is a phenomenon in which perceptual experiences, such as colours, tastes, or smells are elicited by stimuli that are not usually associated with such experiences such as letters or sounds. For example, in the most common form of synaesthesia, known as ‘grapheme → colour synaesthesia’, letters or numbers are perceived as coloured. People who report a lifelong history of such experiences are known as ‘synaesthetes’ and it’s a condition that affects around 4% of the population.

While there has been a considerable amount of documented research into synaesthesia within reading, writing and speech, little is known as to whether the condition affects users of signed languages, and whether there is a transfer between written language and fingerspelling. However, a new study recently published in the journal, Neurocase, has for the first time documented an equivalent synaesthesia amongst signed language users, with colours induced by manual fingerspelled letters and number signs.

Researchers, Dr. Joanna Atkinson and Prof Bencie Woll, from the Deafness, Cognition and Language Research Centre (DCAL), University College London, have collaborated with academics, Jamie Ward from the University of Sussex and David Eagleman of Baylor College of Medicine in Texas and presenter of BBC series ‘The Brain with David Eagleman’, to demonstrate that colour associations may also transfer from writing and fingerspelling systems but also this can occur within signed language based on perceptual similarity or articulatory features such as handshape.
Commenting on the publication, Dr Atkinson, said:

“The results from this collaborative project which has brought together world experts in synaesthesia with world experts in sign language research.

“Working with a mixed study cohort of hearing and signed language users – both of British Signed Language (BSL) and American Signed Language (ASL) – we discovered evidence that manual alphabet/numeral sign → colour synaesthesia exists within second-language users of two different signed languages, ASL and BSL.

“These findings fit with the notion that for most second-language learners, the transfer of colour into this system is primarily determined by conceptual meaning based on their first language but the colours can also be influenced by perceptual properties of the signs or fingerspelled letters themselves.

“This study also underlines the importance of broadening research to include signed languages because this casts new light on the mechanisms underpinning synaesthesia in general.”

The full article can be found here: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13554794.2016.1198489

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02 AugThe O2 Partners With SignVideo

The O2 Partners With SignVideo To Enhance The Booking Experience For Deaf Fans

Click picture below to view the news in British Sign Language.

o2

Unique partnership is the first of its kind for a UK music venue

1st August 2016 – The O2 has announced a deal with SignVideo that will bring huge benefits to deaf and hard of hearing customers that use British Sign Language (BSL). From today, fans wishing to book tickets or make enquiries to The O2 will be able to liaise directly with the venue’s customer service helpline through a link to SignVideo on The O2 website. This will connect them to a fully qualified SignVideo BSL interpreter who will relay the conversation in real time to The O2 customer service agent. The service is offered free to all customers requiring it.

SignVideo is in addition to the Texttype facility already on offer and a dedicated accessible booking line that handles over 31,000 special access requests annually.

Jeff McWhinney, Chairman and Founder of SignVideo said: “We are thrilled that The O2 have chosen us to help deliver BSL customer services. The O2 are already supporting their deaf BSL customers by offering performance interpreting so it’s a natural extension to add customer services in BSL too. Using text based services like email and web chat for customer services actually creates more of a barrier for us deaf BSL users and as a result, we struggle to gain easy access to help when we need it.

I am sure the deaf BSL community will be delighted that they can now contact The O2 in their own language, quickly and easily, and we would encourage other entertainment venues to follow The O2’s great example.”

Adam Wilson, Head of Customer Relations at The O2 added: “We’re always looking to enhance the experience of all of our customers, especially those with specific access needs.  Providing the British Sign Language service through SignVideo will enable even more fans to enjoy the shows they love at the best venue. We’re delighted to be the first to offer this in the UK.”

In addition to the BSL SignVideo service The O2 offers full BSL interpretation of its shows if required by deaf fans.

The London venue has won awards for the services it provides fans and is recognised as a Gold Charter venue by charity Attitude is Everything, who campaign for better access for deaf and disabled concert goers nationally.

 

02 AugHearing Link launches survey to help shape digital services

News Release: Wednesday 20th July 2016

Immediate release 

The UK-wide charity Hearing Link has launched a new online survey to help it understand how to shape its future digital services.

In April this year, the organisation unveiled a refreshed website at www.hearinglink.org which is mobile responsive giving users access at home or while on the go through tablets and smartphones.

Using this development as a spring board, Hearing Link, which provides information and support for people with hearing loss, their families and friends, wants to extend its digital reach to include more online hearing loss communities.

The survey is designed to find out what members of the hearing loss community want and need in order to better communicate online.

Dr Lorraine Gailey, Chief Executive of Hearing Link, said: “We pride ourselves on creating meaningful connections for people with hearing loss.  We already offer a number of digital platforms, including our website, e-newsletter and social media channels. We want to diversify and create even more opportunities for our supporters to share experiences, information and support each other online.

“Our short online survey is an opportunity to discover the needs of those who use our services as well as the wider hearing loss community.  I would encourage input from all individuals, groups and organisations across the sector, so we can provide the digital resources that are wanted and needed.”

You can add your views to the survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/XX8XSW8.  It takes between 5-10 minutes to complete.

The survey closes on Sunday 21st August 2016.

For hearing loss information and support, please visit www.hearinglink.org

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For further information please contact:

Lorna Armstrong, Marketing & Communications Manager

Email: lorna.armstrong@hearinglink.org

Tel/SMS: 07912 268903