The website – www.bt.com/btsign – allows users to access information about BT products and services in British Sign Language (BSL). It was set up after BT’s hearing-impaired customers asked for more information to be made available to them in BSL, which many see as their first language.
Two charities representing hearing-impaired people – TAG and Hearing Concern – helped to develop the site. Trimedia Harrison Cowley is working with disability and online media to promote it, and also to encourage other companies to consider doing the same.
The agency has worked with BT for 15 years, and on its CSR for the past seven. James Wright, director of the CSR/charity division, said: ‘This development is part of BT’s digital inclusion campaign, and shows the power of technology to enable better communication with customers that are traditionally harder to reach.’
Guido Gybels, director of new technologies at RNID, praised the site but expressed concern that it may not be adequate support.
He said: ‘In the business environment a site like this is fairly unique. In terms of visibility, BT is clearly ahead of its competitors. My concern, however, is that it is a separate part of the main website. This may lead to a two-tier system, where eventually separate user groups will use separate resources.’