***We're now raising money towards our stretch target of £10,000 - see below for how your support will help us reach our goals***
Signalise is here to revolutionise the booking of British Sign Language Interpreters by creating an online system designed entirely by its users. As a cooperative, our communities – deaf people and interpreters – are our members and any profit we make will be reinvested into our local communities.
We are a group of deaf people and British Sign Language Interpreters. Through many years of professional, real-world experience, we've reached a collective conclusion: the current system of booking British Sign Language Interpreters does not work. It doesn’t work for deaf people, for interpreters or for the services that use them. And rather than wait for gradual change that might never happen, we want to change things now.
Over the past 20 years, we have seen local, specialist services being replaced by large spoken language agencies who don’t understand the needs of the deaf community or interpreters. Smaller agencies can no longer compete to win large government framework contracts. Standards of access are falling. The deaf community is no longer confident that interpreters have been successfully booked and interpreters are seeing their working conditions worsen and pay reduced.
By designing an online booking system together, we can make sure that we are able to meet the needs of all our communities. We want deaf people to have choice and control over the interpreters they use. And we want interpreters to have the information they need to be able to provide a good service. We also want to make the system as quick and easy to use as possible for the services that use it.
Running a platform cooperative (where everything is automated and online), we can keep costs down. This means we will be able to pay our interpreters fairly. We will charge a reasonable admin fee on every booking via the platform to cover running costs. Our plan is to use any profit to pay for additional training and support for interpreters (where possible provided by deaf businesses) and to increase revenue by selling training services. This will raise standards and improve access for the deaf community.
The COVID pandemic has highlighted how urgently we need a better system. We now recognise the need for an online interpreting service, which we hadn’t originally costed for within our business plan; the current crisis has shown how desperately this is needed.
With your help, we can fund some of our set up costs, so that we can start testing our tech with members of the deaf community, interpreters and the services that book us. We want to do this as quickly as possible.
- Clinical grade remote interpreting software
- Community participation work
- Community training
- Platform hosting costs
We have almost hit our original target, so are now raising money for our stretch target to:
- Pay for extra web developers to work on the booking platform
- Extra software to allow for better community participation
- Promotional costs