‘Signly’ – a government scheme to support BSL users on trains – will receive funding, along with other schemes to help rail passengers with various disabilities and conditions.
A series of high-tech schemes, including a project to support BSL users on train journeys, will be developed after winning a government-funded competition. The competition was run by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB), as part of the Department for Transport’s efforts to improve accessibility for all passengers.
The app ‘Signly’ will use the latest software to give BSL users access to essential travel and safety notices, by delivering signed content directly to their smart phone or tablet.
Mark Applin, the Co-Founder of Signly, said:
“The Signly team are delighted the RSSB have seen the possibilities to improve passenger experience for Deaf passengers who use British Sign Language. The grant funding affords the opportunity to meet Deaf passengers and rail employees and develop simple tools that can make a difference day in, day out.”
Along with Signly, the other schemes to receive a share of £600,000 government funding are:
- ACCESS: a tool to help station staff identity lack of accessibility and prioritise improvements
- LVIS: a study to improve staff’s understanding about the difficulties that passengers with hidden disabilities face, e.g. dementia
- Rail4All: an app to help station staff prioritise requests from disabled passengers, and notifies the passenger that their request for support has been received
- Accessible Journey Pocket Assistant: a journey planner giving passengers advice for each step of their trip
- Nodality: a website which informs passengers and carers how accessible a station is
- Aubin: an app which provides journey information for passengers with autism which avoids stressful situations when possible, and resources to get help.
Nusrat Ghani, the Transport Accessibility Minster, said:
“I am determined to make sure that our railways are accessible to everyone, and that we remove any barriers faced by people with a disability. Everyone deserves the right to travel independently and with confidence. I am delighted that these innovative projects have been picked to improve people’s journeys, and look forward to seeing how they benefit passengers in the years to come. The aim of the competition was to find creative solutions to challenges faced by passengers with disabilities on the railways, and especially for those with less visible impairments.”