We're here to revolutionise the way health services can request, contract and deliver interpreting services for Deaf people.

Why?

Because Deaf people deserve better access and it costs the NHS £30 million per year in the poor diagnosis and ineffective treatment of Deaf people. The current system doesn't work and leaves Deaf people without any choice or control. Interpreters have boycotted agencies who demonstrate a lack of knowledge and respect of the Deaf community and interpreting. Agencies have gone into liquidation as a result of traditional working practices that cannot meet demand led services.

How?

By co-creating an innovative digital platform with all three user groups: Deaf people, interpreters and health staff, we can revolutionise the way that access is provided. For the first time, we will be designing a system that works. With everyone, for everyone. Not for shareholders or global companies, but one that puts local people in charge, and keeps profits locally.

About Us

Signalise is a new multi-stakeholder co-operative run by its members to provide interpreting to services who need to book interpreters. Signalise will be a platform co-op allowing all users to request, book and confirm interpreting via the platform in a way that is innovative and benefits all users.

We aim to have a membership of Deaf people, BSL/English interpreters and other interested parties such as healthcare providers and commissioners who need to purchase services.

We will start in Merseyside for health bookings where it is clear there are many problems with current contracts. Signalise offers an alternative solution.

Our Users

There are three user groups involved in Deaf people's access to health care. Deaf people, the health staff who have a statutory duty to care for Deaf service users and the interpreters that allow health staff to do their job by facilitating this communication with Deaf people.

We were keen to find out what all three user groups thought about interpreting services for Deaf people. We undertook a survey of users across the five boroughs of Merseyside; Liverpool, Wirral, Sefton, Knowsley & St Helens.

The findings show a number of problems with interpreting delivery from a lack of availability, poor quality and a lack of understanding about Deaf people’s communication needs.

We asked respondents what a perfect interpreting service would look like. This formed part of the service design for the user-owned Signalise platform. Answers included: user-led, easy to use and fair and transparent.
Download the report.

Signalise report front cover

FAQs

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BSL

A cooperative is a business that is collectively owned, democratically run and often provides social benefits.

Co-operatives are businesses owned and controlled by their members, who can be customers, staff, suppliers, local residents or a combination of these stakeholders. Members have an equal say in how the business is run using the one member, one vote principle. Members choose what to do with profits, whether distributing among members, reinvesting in the business or the community.

A co-operative is an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically-controlled enterprise. (Ref: Should my business be a cooperative )

Examples of successful cooperatives are:

  • The Ivy House, cooperatively run community pub based in South East London
  • Outlandish, a digital creative agency which is a workers co-operative, based in London
  • Suma, a wholefoods co-operative running for over 40 years in Halifax, West Yorkshire
  • Homes For Change, a housing co-operative in Hulme, Manchester
  • Choices4Doncaster, a co-operative consortium providing health and social care

Get involved

We are starting small for health bookings on Merseyside where innovation is needed and we can make a difference.

If you live outside this area, you can still help by sharing our message, keeping in touch by signing up for updates and following us on social media.