ITV SignPost, ITV’s Sign Language production house, has won the prestigious Workplace Commitment Award at the Signature Awards. The award recognises organisations that have changed the way they work to improve access for Deaf employees and customers.
The awards, which are in their 10th year, celebrate and recognise individuals and organisations that are going above and beyond to improve access for Deaf people, promote British Sign Language and provide opportunities for Deaf people.
ITV SignPost is a centre of excellence for British Sign Language and is fast-becoming one of the most diverse production houses in the country. From its Gateshead studios it produces more than 1,300 hours of signed broadcast content every year working with broadcast clients including ITV, the Welsh Broadcaster S4C and Irish broadcaster RTE. This makes it the UK’s market leader in Sign Language services.
SignPost is an example of diversity in action. Every programme is made by at least 50% Deaf or crew with a disability. It’s a commitment to commissioners that will not change. Every member of staff is able to sign to varying degrees, bringing Deaf and hearing persons together.
The department’s award-winning Signed Stories product sees a catalogue of more than 150 children’s stories available in British and American Sign Language, making content accessible to all and reduce barriers for Deaf children.
Many other programmes have been commissioned on the back of the success of Signed Stories, including the CITV programme Mission Employable that was nominated for a Kids Bafta in 2017 and LifeStories, a series telling the life stories of prominent members of the Deaf community, commissioned by the the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust. This programme was a great breeding ground for Deaf talent and SignPost used it to recruit up and coming Deaf programme makers who were given in-depth training alongside experienced ITV professionals.
We are incredibly proud of what Signpost has achieved and the unique offering to the Broadcast industry that Signpost has. For us at ITV, Signpost puts us at the forefront of true accessibility and diversity and we value this for our brand, our principles and our reputation.
Helen Stevens, Director of Broadcast & Content Operations, ITV plc
The next chapter is to gain network commissions for programmes that have no connection to the Deaf audience and are merely commissioned network programmes. These programmes will continue to be produced by a crew who are at least 50% Deaf or disabled. A Head of production has been appointed to oversee this next chapter to support SignPost’s growing reputation as the market leader in diverse content creation.
We’re very proud of the work SignPost continues to do, supporting our Corporate Responsibility strategy and making our content accessible and inclusive.