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‘It does matter’: our creative approach to BSL translations

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If you’ve watched any of our new ‘It does matter’ campaign films of our brilliant storytellers, sharing their unique experiences of being deaf or having hearing loss, you might have noticed something unusual on the right hand side of your screen.

We’ve become accustomed to BSL translations on TV or films appearing in a very particular way (if they appear at all) – filmed well away from the action against a green screen, and then superimposed in the bottom right-hand corner of the video.

We applaud organisations and content creators that include BSL in their videos, and make them fully accessible to the BSL community. With our campaign, though, we wanted to try and do something different, something a bit more creative.

You’ll see in our films that the translators haven’t been filmed in isolation from our storytellers, against a green screen in a studio. They have been filmed on location, to the same film quality as the storytellers. They are in a similar setting, captured with the same tone and mood of the rest of the story. The BSL in these films isn’t an afterthought or an add-on, it is an integral part of our storytelling.

Has it worked? You tell us! Even within our RNID team, some colleagues have loved it and others aren’t quite sure. They are both totally valid reactions.

We think it’s important to try new things and push the boundaries for inclusion across all areas of life, including the creative arts and content for our own channels. We’ll keep on testing new routes, listening to feedback and asking questions. We hope you enjoy the campaign, and that you will join us in telling people that including all deaf people, including BSL users, across all areas of society really does matter.

Explore our campaign

Watch our storytellers share their experiences of being deaf, or having hearing loss, in the UK, and our creative approach to BSL translation.
Explore our campaign

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Page last updated: 9 May 2024

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