Inviting BSL users to take part in research and events

February 28, 2019 by No Comments | Category Digital Participation, Scottish Approach to Service Design, Uncategorized

Dr Philip J Kirk, Senior User Researcher, writes about how the Digital Directorate is helping to make events more accessible for the British Sign Language (BSL) community.

As an organisation providing services for citizens, we’re responsible for making sure our research and events are inclusive and accessible. We must include people who feel excluded. Discussions with the BSL community have shown that they do feel excluded by the hearing dominated world, including government.

I organised a working group from the Digital Directorate to come up with a way of informing BSL users about research and events. It’s important to remember that English is a second language to BSL users, so we have to consider how we can inform the community in BSL and reduce the need for written English  

We reviewed current practice of how BSL/English interpreting services are offered and communicated with BSL users, BSL organisations and the Equality Unit in Scottish Government. This helped us to develop our approach.

We found out that a BSL icon is often used to alert BSL users to information. A QR code or web address can then be used to direct people to video that signs the information. We have designed these together to form a banner which can be included on invites for events. People simply need to open the camera on their phone and point it to the QR code. This will open the video.

We have developed two different banners, which come with a guide to using them for event organisers. These will let people know:

·         you can request a BSL/English interpreter if you want to attend the event

·         a BSL/English interpreter will be at the event

Our group is now testing these banners with events across Scottish Government. The process will be reviewed regularly to make sure it works for the BSL community and for event organisers.

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