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Nationwide adds British Sign language to online content

In honour of Sign Language week, Nationwide has rolled out a new digital service for deaf customers by providing its website in British Sign Language (BSL).

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Nationwide adds British Sign language to online content

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This content has been selected, created and edited by the Finextra editorial team based upon its relevance and interest to our community.

Delivered in partnership with BSL technology company, Signly, content is in the form of pre-recorded signed videos, with the most popular web pages available first. Content will grow over time and users can select any new pages to be translated.

Nationwide’s launch comes as national charity British Deaf Association (BDA) is ramping up calls for greater acknowledgement of the needs of deaf people. They estimate that BSL is the first language of over 87,000 deaf people in the UK, meaning that written English is inaccessible for many.

A recent report by self-regulatory banking body, the Lending Standards Board (LSB), found that whilst 65% of registered banking firms offered BSL services in-branch, and 59% offered remote BSL access via video, only six per cent provided on-demand access to website content.

The launch of the service builds on the existing range of accessibility services offered by Nationwide, including SignVideo BSL into contact centres and in-branch BSL interpretation.

The building society is also participating in Experian's Support Hub scheme, which lets customers record their support needs digitally and share them with multiple companies more easily..

Kathryn Townsend, head of customer accessibility at Nationwide comments: “British Sign Language is a rich, visual language. The recent BSL Act introduction which legally recognises it as language of England, Scotland and Wales, and the upcoming launch of the BSL GCSE show progress, but there remain barriers. We recognise that for BSL users, accessible communication formats are not always available, so we are proud to launch this new service as part of our commitment to the deaf community, to improve access to vital financial information. Crucially, we work with deaf charities and people with lived experiences to help inform what we do.”

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