Ooona teams up with BSLBT to lead the way in training for deaf BSL users

In a significant development, Ooona, a leading global provider of professional tools for media localisation, has announced a collaboration with the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust (BSLBT). This pioneering partnership marks the commencement of a specialized training program on Ooona’s educational platform, EDU, tailored specifically for BSLBT’s community of deaf subtitlers.

BSLBT, a charitable organization dedicated to commissioning British Sign Language (BSL) programs across various genres, plays a crucial role in providing role models for deaf children and young adults. Its acclaimed programs, presented entirely in BSL with English subtitles, ensure accessibility for a diverse audience. With new leadership at the helm, BSLBT aims to elevate its subtitling services to new heights.

Ooona EDU stands out as a versatile cloud-based educational platform meticulously designed to facilitate training in all aspects of audiovisual localisation. Offering a diverse range of professional courses in various formats, including self-paced modules, workshops, lectures, and webinars, the platform integrates seamlessly with the Moodle learning management system, a widely used tool in educational institutions worldwide. Additionally, it features the full suite of Ooona Tools, enabling users to practice subtitling, captioning, scripting, and audio description tasks within a realistic virtual environment.

Stephanie Burke, Production Executive at BSLBT, elaborates on the initiative: “The aim is to train a group of deaf BSL/English translators in subtitling to ensure our programming remains accessible to all. Previously, subtitles were created exclusively by hearing individuals, but now we are empowering deaf individuals with the skills to become proficient subtitlers. By incorporating English subtitles into our shows, we seek to share the rich and vibrant experiences of the deaf community with a wider audience.”

Wayne Garb, Co-founder and CEO of Ooona, expresses his excitement about the collaboration: “I am delighted to introduce our revamped EDU platform in collaboration with BSLBT, offering a course specifically tailored for deaf users. This initiative not only underscores Ooona’s commitment to accessibility but also provides an excellent opportunity to enhance our software to better serve the needs of deaf users.”

Established in 2008 with approval from Ofcom, BSLBT operates as a charitable organization in the UK, bridging the gap between commercial broadcasters and the deaf community by commissioning television programs in BSL. These programs are accessible via the BSL Zone website and app, as well as on platforms such as Film4 and Together TV. Additionally, many of these programs are available on Sky VoD/NOW TV and are showcased at film festivals worldwide.

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