December 5 2023  |  Partnerships, Collaborations & Acquisitions

British Airways partners with SigncodeUK to improve accessibility

By Robynne Trueman

A look at the captioned video content from British Airways and Signcode UK

British Airways has announced its partnership with SigncodeUK to improve its accessibility offering for passengers with deafness and hard-of-hearing. The partnership will provide travellers with signed video content containing travel information, pre-flight and onboard, the press release said.

SigncodeUK translates important information into signed videos that will now be used to demonstrate the airline’s commitment to supporting passenger accessibility. The signed videos can be accessed via a link or unique QR code so passengers can view personalized video messages in sign.

The first video is available pre-travel online, offering an overview of British Airways' service proposition throughout the entire journey, including the booking process, the airport experience, onboard services and the in-flight entertainment offering. The video also includes a British Sign Language (BSL) introduction from Fredrick Da Costa, British Airways’ first Deaf Customer Experience Agent who uses BSL as part of his role with the company.

A second video is set to be available by the end of 2023, focusing on onboard safety features and procedures. This video will also be accessible on and via a QR code that British Airways Mainline cabin crew can access on their mobile devices. This will give passengers with deafness and hard-of-hearing the choice between receiving a signed video safety briefing on their personal device or receiving a one-on-one briefing delivered by a crew member. The airline notes that the latter service is already available onboard British Airways.

"We are proud to partner with SigncodeUK to further improve our accessibility offering for our deaf and hard-of-hearing customers. 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,” said Carrie Harris, Director of Sustainability at British Airways.

Gill Earl, Managing Director at SigncodeUK, said, “Working with British Airways and making the deaf community aware of the services available to them, has been a privilege and an honour. British Airways is an iconic British brand, who are committed to accessibility, not only for their customers but also their colleagues who strive to make it the best airline in the world.”

“We are proud to help them on their accessibility journey by bringing together our professional media translators with BA’s own Fredrick De Costa on their first BSL video,” she continued. “We are delighted as a company but more for the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities that we serve. They now have truly independent access to all that British Airways can offer.”

British Airways and SigncodeUK will provide videos in BSL and American Sign Language (ASL) to acknowledge the linguistic diversity within the deaf community. The airline also said it is exploring the potential to expand into other languages such as Spanish and hopes to expand its BSL video content in the year ahead.

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