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The world's first-ever platform co-operative for Deaf people and sign language interpreters

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Signalise is here to revolutionise the booking of British Sign Language Interpreters by creating an online system designed entirely by its users.

LIVERPOOL, U.K. - eTradeWire -- A group of Deaf people and British Sign Language Interpreters, fed up with the current system of booking sign language interpreters, have joined together to establish a new cooperative. "Signalise Co-op" will revolutionise the booking of British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreters by creating an online system designed entirely by its users. As a co-op, the communities - deaf people and interpreters - are the members and any profit made will be reinvested into these local communities.

As Signalise's founder Jen Smith explained "the system we have doesn't work. It doesn't work for Deaf people, for interpreters or for the services that use them. Rather than wait for change, we want to make this happen!".

The problem?

Over the past 20 years local, specialist services have been replaced by large spoken language agencies who don't understand the needs of the deaf community or interpreters.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 are no longer confident that interpreters have been booked and interpreters are having their working conditions and pay reduced.

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The solution?

Designing an online booking system together, the needs of both communities can be met. Deaf people can have choice and control over the interpreters they use, and interpreters can access the information they need to be able to provide a good service. The system will also be designed to ensure it is as quick and easy to use as possible for frontline services.

Running a platform co-op (where everything is automated and online), keeps costs down. This means that interpreters can be paid fairly. Any profit can be used to pay for additional training and support for interpreters. Jen told us "wherever possible we want deaf businesses to provide our training and to support the local community". It is hoped that this new model will raise standards and improve access for the deaf community.

This is the world's first platform co-op for deaf people and sign language interpreters. You can support their work by donating to their Crowdfunder campaign here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/signalisecoop. #SupportSignalise

Contact
Nicky Evans
***@signalise.coop


Source: Signalise Cooperative
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Filed Under: Non-profit

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