Deaf News: Online sign language interpretation service launched at hospital on Isle of Man

Posted on April 28, 2015

A new sign language interpretation service which uses an online video link has been officially launched at Noble’s Hospital, on the Isle of Man.

The initiative will provide an improved service for patients who are Deaf as well as offering better value for money.

The service is a result of a collaboration between Noble’s Hospital, the Manx Deaf Society, the Isle of Man Government IT Department and one of this site’s supporters, Sign Solutions.

The Isle of Man has no qualified British Sign Language interpreters. When members of the Deaf community have medical appointments and require an interpreter, the Department often hires someone to come over from UK, which in the past has cost as much as £1,000.

In emergency situations, where there is no time to bring an interpreter to the Island, Deaf patients and staff providing care often find it extremely difficult to communicate effectively.

The new service from Sign Solutions connects to a live sign language interpreter via secure video link over the internet on a PC with a webcam or a tablet computer.


Noble’s Hospital is the first area of Government to use the video interpretation service, but it is hoped that the scheme could be expanded to cover other departments.

The formal launch event consisted of a number of presentations on topics such as Deaf culture, the challenges of being Deaf and real life experiences that members of the Deaf community on the Island have experienced when receiving medical care.

Lucy Buxton, of the Manx Deaf Society, said: “Receiving care without the ability to communicate or understand what is happening to you can be a very daunting and frightening experience, especially in an emergency situation. I am pleased that we are now able to ensure proper communication between medical staff and Deaf patients by making use of this innovative and flexible service.”

Sean Nicholson, CEO at Sign Solutions comments: “We’re seeing more and more sectors enquire about our service, which represents a step towards a more positive future for Deaf people. We hope that other governmental departments across the UK will follow suit.”

All interpreters through this service are fully qualified and have been vetted by the Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly the Criminal Records Bureau or CRB) and are bound by the UK Data Protection Act 1998.

Find out more about Interpreters Live here:


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Posted in: deaf news