London Stansted offers British Sign Language interpreting for deaf passengers

Lifestyle / Sat 4th Feb 2023 at 10:40am

LONDON Stansted has joined forces with SignLive to offer deaf or hard of hearing passengers the opportunity to communicate via British Sign Language (BSL) when using and contacting the airport.

The new service allows customers to communicate in BSL with a certified interpreter via video who provides two-way translation between the customer and airport staff.

Customers can simply log-on to the SignLive app on iOS, Android, or a web browser and find London Stansted Airport in the Community Directory to use the service. 

British Sign Language is a visual language using gestures, facial expressions, and body language which is used mainly by people who have hearing impairments.

Anita Harrison, London Stansted’s Customer Operations Director, said:

“We’re delighted to announce the introduction of the SignLive app, which will help our deaf and hard of hearing passengers and is another illustration of our commitment to removing all barriers to travel.

“We want all passengers to enjoy their experience of travelling through Stansted, and no one should ever feel excluded from accessing any of our services or facilities.”

This new service has been made possible by close collaboration between the airport and its accessibility advisory group, which advises the airport on matters such as customer experience, training, monitoring, innovation, and recruitment.

Andy Wright, chair of Stansted Accessibility Forum for Everyone (SAFE), said:

“Being able to use BSL when communicating with the airport team will enhance the customer experience of deaf customers using London Stansted Airport. 

“This is a really positive step towards ensuring that people with hearing impairments can enjoy the same airport experience as everyone else.”

SignLive is one of several initiatives London Stansted has in place to make the airport accessible to people with hidden disabilities. 

Among these initiatives is the Sunflower Scheme, where passengers wear a Sunflower lanyard or floret to discreetly indicate that they have a hidden disability and require additional support.

Staff are trained to recognise these identifiers and offer extra help during a passenger’s journey through the terminal. 

The airport also works closely with the Alzheimer’s Society and has successfully trained more than 1,000 staff as Dementia Friends.

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