GPs urged to adopt free sign language translation software

GPs are being urged to adopt online sign language translation software by charity SignHealth.

The internet-based translation program SignTranslate, developed by the charity and free for surgeries, converts English to British Sign Language as well as 12 foreign spoken languages.

It aids communication with people who have difficulty in understanding English, whether they are deaf and use sign language, or are non-English speaking.

SignHealth is writing to practices on behalf of their deaf patients explaining how the service works and how they can obtain a free web-based program.

SignTranslate cards, similar to donor cards, are also being used by deaf people to express their wish to communicate in sign language without having to wait for an interpreter.

Steve Powell, SignHealth chief executive, said: ‘We urge GPs to visit and contact us to find out how they can implement this free service.'

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