Using the internet is crucial for jobs, medical care, education, transportation, and other essential parts of life. Unfortunately, the vast majority of sites aren't accessible to d/Deaf individuals because those sites don't have web content translation features for sign language.
At Signapse, we've developed an innovative technology that provides sign language translation for websites using artificial intelligence (AI) to translate written web content into British Sign Language (BSL) in real time.
In this blog post, we'll discuss the importance of website accessibility and how AI-powered sign language translation helps d/Deaf users and business owners.
Introduction to Web Accessibility and Why It Matters
Web accessibility involves making a website that's accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. Web developers follow guidelines, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1), to ensure any user can perceive, understand, and interact with their sites.
The most common internet accessibility features for d/Deaf individuals are captions and transcripts for audio content, such as online courses or video guides. However, for many d/Deaf people, sign language is their primary language, meaning that there are still communication barriers with written words.
Implementing sign language translations for websites is similar to translating sites from English to other languages so users can read content in their native language.
The main difference is that sign language translation involves converting written text into a video of a signer.
If businesses around the world adopt sign language translations on their platforms, more d/Deaf people can enjoy the benefits of accessible technology, including:
Equal access to information
The Web Accessibility Gap: Impact on the Deaf Community
Organisations around the world, from governments to hospitals, utilise website technology to provide information and services, but there's a gap in accessibility for d/Deaf sign language users.
This overlooked aspect of web accessibility can have a profound impact on the everyday life of many d/Deaf individuals.
If d/Deaf users have difficulty interpreting website information because there's no sign language translation, they might have to depend on friends or family members to accomplish common tasks, such as signing up for classes or scheduling appointments.
When communication barriers make it a challenge for d/Deaf individuals to complete tasks independently or find resources online, it can mean fewer education and career opportunities.
This causes a lack of representation of d/Deaf people in society, which contributes to the lack of awareness of the Deaf community's needs and experiences.
Signer Overlay: Bridging the Gap with Sign Language Translation
Signapse has created a cutting-edge communication technology that fills the accessibility gap for d/Deaf people who are most fluent in sign language.
Our plugin translates website content into sign language, making platforms user-friendly for d/Deaf users.
Using translation by real Deaf interpreters, Signapse's innovative tool automatically generates translations for web content.
A company that wants to improve digital inclusion for d/Deaf customers, employees, and business partners can add Signapse to their platform.
These are two live examples of clients that use Signapse technology on their websites:
Empowering Businesses and the Deaf Community: The Mutual Benefits
Better accessibility benefits both Deaf and hearing people in many ways. For example, when a company ensures deaf and hearing people have equal access to their product or service, they're able to reach a wider audience of potential customers while making sure d/Deaf individuals can find solutions easily.
By translating your website into sign language with Signapse, your company can also improve its reputation as a technologically advanced and inclusive organisation.
Implementing sign language translations can also help companies stay compliant with legal requirements for web accessibility, which exist to provide equal access to information and communication technologies to everyone, no matter their abilities.
Get Started with Signer Overlay: Make Your Website Accessible
99% of sites are not accessible for d/Deaf people, but your site doesn't have to be inaccessible. The Signapse Signer Overlay will make your site easy to use and understand for d/Deaf clients, employees, or other users that rely on sign language to communicate.
We can smoothly integrate our product with your site, providing the ground-breaking Signer Overlay that displays the automatically translated content in sign language.
Real-time sign language translation gives d/Deaf people independence, allowing them to use the web to learn, communicate, and solve problems without help.
The Signer overlay provides a consistent appearance, whether you want translation on a few pages or the entire site. You can even adapt the overlay to complement your website's branding.
Whether by helping d/Deaf individuals recognise announcements in public spaces or making it easier to access online content, our team at Signapse aims to make all spaces accessible to the Deaf community.
The Future of Web Accessibility
As technology advances and people embrace modern accessibility tools, we could see a much more widespread availability of sign language translation for websites.
One day, Signapse technology could be a common sight online and in public areas to promote accessibility.
If you're interested in partnering with us to provide improved web accessibility for the Deaf community, contact us to ask questions or schedule a demonstration.