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OmniServ partners with SigncodeUK to enhance airport assistance for deaf and hard of hearing PAX

OmniServ – part of ABM Industries – has partnered with SigncodeUK, an innovative online provider of video translation services for the D/deaf community (deaf, deafened and hard of hearing) – as part of its continued efforts to improve the flying experience for all.

OmniServ and SigncodeUK have created three demonstration videos, which will be unveiled on the OmniServ stand C15 at the British and Irish Airports Expo at London’s Olympia on June 11-12.

There will also be a SigncodeUK representative on the stand to explain in detail how they can improve the passenger journey for the D/deaf community and what it will be delivering alongside OmniServ.

SigncodeUK points out that British Sign Language (BSL) users effectively have English as a second language, so they can miss, misunderstand or be unable to access written or spoken English.

By using Signcodes, Deaf BSL users understand the signed information and for Deafened and Hard of Hearing people there are subtitles.

The two companies have signed a memorandum of understanding, which allows OmniServ exclusive rights to use the technology in airports – both landside and airside – and with airlines. It will also be available to help D/deaf travellers in airport retail areas.

OmniServ currently provides assistance for People With Reduced Mobility (PRM) passengers at Heathrow, one of the world’s busiest international passenger airports, as well as at Manchester, Liverpool, Edinburgh, and Stansted. Every year, it helps nearly two million PRM passengers.

OmniServ head of innovation and regulatory compliance, Samantha Saunders said: “This is a real game changer and a win-win for all sides. From the commercial point-of-view, it means airports, airlines and travel retailers can now communicate more easily and effectively with D/deaf passengers.”

“The partnership with SigncodeUK allows us to communicate with a section of the community which rarely uses our passenger support services but which can benefit enormously from them,” adds Saunders. “D/deaf passengers just use a different language. This technology means we can communicate with them in their own language.”

According to Civil Aviation Authority statistics, UK air travel grew 19 per cent between 2010 – 2017. During the same period of time, the numbers of passengers requiring assistance has grown an incredible 47 per cent.