BROMSGROVE District Council has paid £1,500 so town centre businesses can access British Sign Language Interpretation services through an app to help deaf shoppers, writes Kirsty Card.
The council is working in partnership with Alvechurch-based Sign Solutions on the project which will be done on a 12-month trial. It is the first scheme of its kind in the country.
The app will include a video call feature to a sign language interpreter who will help the customer and trader to communicate more effectively.
Sign Solutions’ managing director Clare Vale said she was delighted the district council was implementing the services which would be of huge benefit to the town.
“Making communication for deaf people accessible on the high street is no longer the sole province of banks and building societies.
“We are finding there is an increasing awareness from major retailers and independents who want to ensure there is a level playing field for all their customers to find out about and access their products and services.”
Sign Solutions is working with consortiums of retailers, Business Improvement Districts (BIDS), town centre managers and local councils.
The scheme launched in the town on Wednesday and some local businesses have already signed up, including Bayleys of Bromsgrove, Giinger Boutique and Decanter Spirit.
Coun Karen May, the council’s portfolio holder for economic development, said: “There are always more reasons to shop in Bromsgrove as the town continues to grow and develop.
“This latest initiative means even more people can access our wonderful array of shops, cafes, restaurants and service providers like banks and building societies.”