Our journey to “communicating equality”
Born in 2004, SignVideo is led by Jeff McWhinney, a well-known deaf entrepreneur who fights tirelessly for equality of the deaf and hearing community. Today, we are a predominantly deaf-led organisation providing VRS solutions to the government, NHS, councils, UK banks, telecommunications providers, helplines and many other types of organisations. We not only pioneered this revolutionary communications solution in the UK but now lead the way as a video relay and video remote interpreting provider, in bringing access and inclusion to the BSL community. With a strong presence in the VRS and VRI market, we pride ourselves on being a highly reputable provider. Our video call centres and remote interpreters conduct over 20,000 BSL interpreted video calls a year. We underpin our service with experienced, fully qualified and registered BSL interpreters, Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and ISO 9001, 14001 and 27001 quality certifications.
“Communicating equality” to us also means being sensitive to our user group and ensuring we are inclusive and politically correct. It’s often in innocence that people use inappropriate terms when talking about the deaf BSL community, but this can cause serious offence. We strongly advocate the raising of awareness within our partners and alliances about the BSL community and its core values so that they can directly interact with each other and build positive, long lasting relationships. For example, we do not encourage the use of medical-based terminology such as ‘hearing impaired’ or ‘disabled’, or terms like “help”, when in fact it is equality that is needed, not help as the assistance also applies to people who hear as well as deaf people enabling them to communicate with the latter. We believe using the appropriate words to talk about deaf customers will result in them feeling that the partner really ‘understand’ them and are treating them with respect. We have even produced a guide for our partners to use when they launch our SignVideo service – click here to download it.
Read more below about some of the milestones that have helped us to get to this great position.