Chiltern Railways have installed several British Sign Language screens as part of a trial across the rail operator's busiest stations, including:
The British Sign Language totems will offer the latest up-to-date information to passengers whilst supporting accessibility and inclusivity.
The Royal National Institute of Deaf People has revealed figures which show that there are more than 150,000 BSL users in the UK, of which 87,000 prefer BSL as the first language which means that they may not always understand text-based detail, especially if boards are raised or at a distance.
The new totems feature pre-loaded standard messaging alongside timetable information and uses state-of-the-art screens which provide customers with an interactive experience when searching for information in time of unexpected disruption.
The innovative screens also provide journey planning features and onward travel functionality, which allows customers to view maps of the local areas as well as the next direct trains. The totems also feature a Near Field Communication pad, which lets customers transfer information wirelessly to their phone or other device by simply touching the pad, creating far-reaching benefits outside of the station concourse.
The project will provide the necessary technology to support Chiltern Railways' customers who use BSL, with the aim of building confidence to travel by train. Should the trial be successful, Chiltern Railways will explore the rollout of this important facility further across its network.
Steve Scutt, Accessibility and Integrated Transport Manager, said:
“We know that for those with accessibility needs, travelling on the railway can be challenging, particularly during periods of disruption.”
“We are proud to have installed these screens, which will give customers who use BSL real-time departure information and allow them to travel with confidence.”
“Moving forwards, pending a successful trial, we are determined to explore making these the new normal at stations across our network.”