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The Accessibility HeX-Press: Deaf Awareness Week

Written by Cheryl Swan on

Welcome to the first edition of our accessibility newsletter. In this feature we’ll be focusing on what you can do to help your Deaf community both online and face-to-face.

Between 2-8 May is Deaf Awareness Week. A week about celebrating Deaf people and highlighting the barriers that they face, to help shape an inclusive future.

This edition features:

Learning Sign Language is the first step to inclusion 

We recently tested James’ sign language skills. In the following video watch how he communicates through British Sign Language to encourage the UK to come together as a community and take up the challenge of learning BSL.

Learn how to communicate through Fingerspelling Sign Language

This year’s Deaf Awareness Week theme is ‘Inclusion Deafness’. A great first step of inclusion is learning how to fingerspell, so you can communicate with our Deaf community. In the video below James teaches us the basics.

What good digital accessibility means to Deaf users

In the following videos, hear from entrepreneur, Mr Luke Christian, who previously shared with our team the accessibility barriers that he has faced online as a Deaf individual.

Find out what good digital accessibility means to Luke personally.

What are the most common barriers Luke faces with digital accessibility

Have you ever found it impossible to access information on a website?

Our BSL Translator, Simon Miller, shared with us in the following videos what digital changes he would like to see happening for the Deaf community online.

Online Deaf accessibility features on websites

Accessing online information as a Deaf individual

World accessibility breakthroughs for Deaf society

There has been some groundbreaking and momentous accessibility activities taking place in world news for our Deaf community!

British Sign Language is legally recognised as a language

The British Sign Language (BSL) Bill has finally completed its passage through the House of Commons. BSL will be legally recognised as a language, breaking down avoidable communication barriers and expanding Deaf people’s rights. The following video is from the RNID:

Deaf acting making history

The film CODA has been taking the film industry by storm. 

CODA follows a teenager who is the only hearing member of a Deaf family, which scooped up the Best Adapted Screenplay at the BAFTAs and has become the first streaming film to win Best Picture at the Oscars. 

Deaf actor Troy Kotsur, made history by becoming the first Deaf actor to win in a main category at the BAFTAs, receiving an award for Best Supporting Actor. Along with being the first male actor to win an Academy Award at the Oscars.   

CBeebies has its first ever BSL-signed Goodnight Stories

The story ‘Can Bears Ski’ will be the first ever BSL-signed story on CBeebies. Rose Ayling-Ellis will be introducing the story and closing the programme to say goodnight to the audience. The story itself is featuring subtitles and will be the first of two stories Rose has recorded for CBeebies.

The story is written by Deaf author Raymond Antrobus and focuses on his own experience to show how isolating it can be for a deaf child in a hearing world.

This special Bedtime Story will air on Sunday 8 May to mark the end of Deaf Awareness Week. 

The Simpsons featured its first Deaf voice actor 

For the first time in its 33-year history, The Simpsons recently featured its first Deaf actor and used American Sign Language (ASL) during the episode. Hopefully this will lead to further inclusive representation and casting on our televisions. 

Technological translation advancement for Sign Language 

We saw Priyanjali Gupta, an engineering student, develop an incredible advancement in technology. Inventing a system that converts American Sign Language into English text, by analysing motions, using image recognition technology. Take a look at this amazing creation

All this…and it’s only May! 

News about an upcoming Deaf Awareness documentary

NEON Nottingham are currently in the process of putting together a documentary, raising awareness on the support available for the Deaf community. This short educational film will feature our Creative Director, James Hall, who will be speaking about the barriers that Deaf people face online. 

Keep an eye out on our social channels or news page for when it goes live!

Services that can help your organisation and the Deaf community

BSL translation services

Communicating your organisation’s services or online information to the Deaf community is not as simple as writing content and thinking that Deaf users, who communicate in British Sign Language, will be able to read it. 

Whether it’s a site-wide translation, a single page of information, an emergency notification, or video content, we can translate it into BSL

Deaf Awareness Training

Organisations need to understand the best way to communicate with Deaf people and understand the common barriers they face. 

Our Deaf Awareness Training will take your organisation through an interactive and informative workshop on how all employees, from customer services staff members, to top-level directors can become Deaf aware.

Learn how you can use SignLive or contact HeX via a BSL interpreter

Here at HeX we know the importance of offering a BSL translation service for those who want to get in touch with our team. Here’s how you can contact HeX via a BSL interpreter.

Find out more about the great free service that SignLive offers.

Join us in shaping an accessible online world

Word has travelled about the amazing accessibility work that we achieve, so we are expanding our team to keep up with the high demand! 

We are currently searching for experienced Front-end and PHP Developers to join our accessibility focused team. 

  • We offer a large exciting mix of national and multi-national clients. 
  • Your skills will be challenged in an ever-changing environment. 
  • A chance to work in a rewarding role that makes a difference. 
  • Hybrid working (typically one day per week in our Nottingham office), or remote working for the right UK-based candidate. 
  • A social, fun, and friendly team. 

Request a callback

If you require any support or advice about digital accessibility, get in touch with our team of experts.