Deaf Awareness Week: British Sign Language added to our video project

As the latest stage in our project, From Striving to Thriving: Digital Stories of Working with a Disability, British Sign Language (BSL) has now been added to all four videos to increase accessibility and raise awareness of the language.

These latest additions to the video series are launched during Deaf Awareness Week, which runs from 2-8 May 2022.

You can view the videos here.

Karyn, Electronic Patient Record Programme Manager and Disability Steering Group Member, spoke about the importance of adding BSL to our videos.

Karyn said: "The Striving to Thriving project is all about inclusivity, so we wanted our videos to exemplify that approach. Our research told us that, whilst there are already a number of resources related to working with a disability, few of these were accessible for the Deaf community. As a person with a hearing loss, subtitles are a tremendous help for me to process everything that is said in a video, the same can be true for people with auditory processing disorder, with ADHD, or on the Autism Spectrum. For people who are Deaf however, written English is a second language, so we wanted to make BSL versions available. 

"We're aware that the project is not yet complete, and that we have been less than perfect in respect of inclusivity. Whilst we have been able to support the telling of a story from the perspective of Transgender identity and Autism, we have not, for example, been able so far to include the experiences of ethnically diverse staff in our videos. Colleagues who already experience stigma because of ethnicity did not feel safe to risk a doubling of their experiences of discrimination by speaking publicly about their experiences of disability. This shows we all still have so much more work to do."

Alongside audio-visual recordings, transcripts, and artwork produced as part of the project, the videos will be used to support training for colleagues and managers across SHSC, within the Integrated Care System, and more widely across NHS Improvement. We are looking forward to building new partnerships with other Disability Staff Networks to enable real change. This includes last year’s winners of the award at Birmingham Royal Orthopaedic Hospital whose Beyond the Stigma project inspired and contributed to our work.

We are proud to have co-produced the videos alongside Sheffield Flourish storyteller Shirin Teifouri and videographer Dan Jackson and funded by the WDES Innovation Award for Networks. The Disability Staff Network members are pleased to launch the British Sign Language (BSL) versions of our video series, with thanks to interpreters from Involve.