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Partnership promises better airport experience for deaf passengers

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Airport assistance specialist OmniServ has launched a partnership with video translation provider to improve the airport experience for deaf and hard of hearing passengers.

OmniServ and SigncodeUK have created three demonstration videos, which were unveiled on Tuesday.

British Sign Language (BSL) users effectively have English as a second language, so they can miss, misunderstand or be unable to access written or spoken English.

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By using Signcodes, deaf BSL users understand the signed information and for deafened and hard of hearing people there are subtitles.

The two companies have signed a deal allowing OmniServ rights to use the technology in airports. It will also be available to help deaf travellers in airport retail areas.

OmniServ currently provides assistance for passengers with reduced mobility at Heathrow, Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, and Stansted.

Samantha Saunders, head of innovation and regulatory compliance at OmniServ, said: “This is a real game changer and a win-win for all sides. From the commercial point-of-view, it means airports, airlines and travel retailers can now communicate more easily and effectively with deaf passengers.

“We will be able to create safety briefings for deaf passengers to play on airlines, security advisories so they know what to expect in airports, marketing materials for airport retailers and food and beverage providers.

“For deaf passengers, it will reduce frustration, help them get around airports more easily, allow them full access to a range of retail opportunities, and make sure they are fully informed of all the important safety issues that go along with flying.

“The partnership with SigncodeUK allows us to communicate with a section of the community which rarely uses our passenger support services but which can benefit enormously from them.”

According to Civil Aviation Authority statistics, UK air travel grew 19% between 2010 and 2017. During the same period of time, the numbers of passengers requiring assistance has grown by 47%.

Tags : heathrow assistanceheathrow deafheathrow passenger assistanceomniserv
Joe Peskett

The author Joe Peskett

1 Comment

  1. This is great news! My job is a CSW and we face challenges everyday whilst work with hearing impaired students. People forget how difficult everyday activities are difficult for Deaf people due to the lack of Deaf Awareness!

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