SigncodeUK is an organisation dedicated to ensuring equal access to information, products and services for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing community and specialises in translating key information into signed videos.
As part of the airline’s continued commitment to become the airline of choice for customers travelling with additional requirements, it has collaborated with the organisation to produce signed videos which can be accessed either via a link or unique QR code, allowing customers to receive personalised video messages in sign language.
The first video, which is available for viewing pre-travel on ba.com, offers a comprehensive overview of British Airways’ service proposition throughout the entire journey, including booking process, the airport experience, onboard services and the in-flight entertainment offering.
It also includes a BSL introduction from Fredrick Da Costa, British Airways’ first Deaf Customer Experience Agent who uses BSL as part of his role. The video aims to empower customers by providing them with the information they need to make more informed choices when they travel.
A second video focuses on onboard safety features and procedures. This video is accessible on ba.com and via a QR code that British Airways Mainline cabin crew will have on their mobile devices on board, giving customers the option to choose between receiving a signed video safety briefing on their personal device, or receiving a personalised briefing delivered by one of our crew face-to-face, which is already offered to Deaf or hard of hearing customers.
“We are proud to partner with SigncodeUK to further improve our accessibility offering for our Deaf and hard of hearing customers,” said British Airways’ Director of Sustainability, Carrie Harris.
“This collaboration aligns with our ongoing commitment to ensure that all our customers have a seamless experience and can travel with confidence, with dignity and in comfort.”
Recognising the linguistic diversity within the Deaf community, British Airways and SigncodeUK will provide videos in British Sign Language (BSL) and American Sign Language (ASL) and are exploring the potential to expand into other languages such as Spanish.
The airline hopes to grow its BSL video content further in the coming year.
In addition to the SigncodeUK partnership, the airline supports customers who are Deaf or hard of hearing through a minicom system (a small electronic typewriter and screen linked to a phone system, enabling people to send and receive messages), and has an ongoing partnership with SignLive to use British Sign Language in its customer engagement centres. Customers who use BSL can contact the airline using a Video Relay Service provided by SignLive, a free service that will connect customers to a qualified online BSL interpreter.
The interpreter will relay the conversation between the customer and a member of British Airways’ accessibility team.