App for deaf museum visitors wins top award

Signly app

5:42am 7th July 2017

An app, which helps deaf people enjoy a Buckinghamshire museum, has won a top award.

Signly was developed to be used at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.

Users point their smartphone at displays to see sign language videos.

The idea's earned the team behind the app the Jodi Award 2017.

Winners were chosen from a shortlist of museums, galleries, archives, libraries and heritage sites that make best use of technology to widen access for disabled people and those with sensory impairment.

The presentations were made at a special ceremony held at the Attenborough Arts Centre of Leicester University on Thursday 27 June 2017.

Judges were impressed by the strong testimonials and feedback from users of the Signly app and its value as an innovative tool in enhancing the experience for d/Deaf visitors to the Museum.

Signly app

Steve Gardam, Director of the Roald Dahl Museum, was delighted to hear of the recognition Signly has received from the Jodi Mattes Trust:

"The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre is proud to have been the first public venue to use Signly, and an investor in developing the app.

"Roald Dahl loved inventiveness and Signly is a great way for a small museum like ours, in a complex set of old buildings, to inventively increase accessibility using the technology visitors bring in their own pockets."

Signly is an app which displays pre-recorded sign language videos on a user's mobile, enabling better access to visual content for d/Deaf sign language users.

The app is downloaded from the App Store or Google Play and when opened can be pointed at labels throughout the Museum to display British Sign Language videos.

This enables visitors to access information about the exhibits without having to make known 'a special need' or to wait for interpreted tours.

Signly app

Co-founder of Signly, Mark Applin explains how the app became a reality:

"The team at the Roald Dahl Museum showed a real pioneer spirit adopting Signly. Their forward--thinking approach and the passion of our co-founders at Deafax combined to make Signly a reality, not a concept.

"They rightly received plaudits from the d/Deaf community and kick-started Signly so we could reach other sectors. We're so grateful."

Being earmarked for this prestigious award means Signly can now reach deeper into the lives of the d/Deaf community where its benefits are starting to be felt in other sectors such as finance, safety, health and the Arts.

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