Signly Innovation at Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre wins at 2017 Jodi Awards Ceremony

Revolutionary new app unlocks cultural venues for d/Deaf people

Signly, an app created for d/Deaf British Sign Language users in collaboration with the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, has won the prestigious Jodi Award 2017. Winners were chosen from a shortlist of museums, galleries, archives, libraries and heritage sites that make best use of technology to widen access for disabled people and those with sensory impairment. The presentations were made at a special ceremony held at the Attenborough Arts Centre of Leicester University on Thursday 27 June 2017. Judges were impressed by the strong testimonials and feedback from users of the Signly App and its value as an innovative tool in enhancing the experience for d/Deaf visitors to the Museum.

Steve Gardam, Director of the Roald Dahl Museum, was delighted to hear of the recognition Signly has received from the Jodi Mattes Trust.

“The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre is proud to have been the first public venue to use Signly, and an investor in developing the app. Roald Dahl loved inventiveness and Signly is a great way for a small museum like ours, in a complex set of old buildings, to inventively increase accessibility using the technology visitors bring in their own pockets.”

Steve Gardam, Director, The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre

Signly is an app which displays pre-recorded sign language videos on a user’s mobile, enabling better access to visual content for d/Deaf sign language users. The app is downloaded from the App Store or Google Play and when opened can be pointed at labels throughout the Museum to display British Sign Language videos. This enables visitors to access information about the exhibits without having to make known ‘a special need’ or to wait for interpreted tours.

Co-founder of Signly, Mark Applin explains how the app became a reality:

“The team at the Roald Dahl Museum showed a real pioneer spirit adopting Signly. Their forward–thinking approach and the passion of our co-founders at Deafax combined to make Signly a reality, not a concept. They rightly received plaudits from the d/Deaf community and kick-started Signly so we could reach other sectors. We’re so grateful.”

Being earmarked for this prestigious award means Signly can now reach deeper into the lives of the d/Deaf community where its benefits are starting to be felt in other sectors such as finance, safety, health and the Arts.

Notes for editors

Images: Jpg images available online
Or from Signly Press Officer

Signly is an app which displays pre-recorded sign language videos on a user’s mobile, enabling better access to visual content for d/Deaf sign language users. Signly is ideal for museums, galleries, theatres, leisure centres, libraries, information centres, bus and rail stations, airports… any organisation looking to meet its obligations under the Equality Act 2010. Quickly translating key messages into filmed sign language for the app, content is triggered at key locations on the visitor route simply by holding up a smart device against a Signly ‘marker’ or object.

For further information or to arrange a visit to the Roald Dahl Museum to see Signly in action, please contact Mark Applin 07870 591332.

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre is aimed at 6 to12 year olds and their families and is situated in the village of Great Missenden, where Roald Dahl lived and wrote for 36 years. It has three fun and fact-packed interactive galleries. Visitors can see the original interior of his Writing Hut, the ramshackle but magical place where he crafted all his children’s stories.

For further information about the Museum, please contact Isabelle Reynolds 01494 892192

Established in 1985, Deafax develops solutions and opportunities for deaf people, to empower them and enhance their lives. Deafax is the number one organisation for specialist visual and interactive deaf-friendly resources.
Our training and resources cover a wide range of different topics in the fields of health, employment, education and life skills and our visual, interactive, specialist approach is consistent throughout.
In visitor attractions and other locations, we know that written English is not always the best way to share information with deaf people, as many of them prefer sign language. Signly is therefore a major step forward in providing equal access for more people.

For more information about Deafax’ work, please email

Shortlisted for Museum + Heritage 2016 Awards

We’re thrilled to announce that Signly at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre has been shortlisted in the Innovation category of the Museum + Heritage 2016 Awards.

The awards ceremony will be taking place on the 18 May at 8 Northumberland Avenue, if you want to see who is crowned Top Dog then you can book your ticket here.

Congratulations to the other shortlisted entries, there’s plenty of brilliant competition and we’re thrilled to see such a great line up.

Signed stories day is a huge success

The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre‘s signed story day was a huge success thanks to the excellent work of their BSL interpreter Helen, storyteller Jo, wonderful front of house team, and – of course – the two and four-legged team from Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.

It was all part of Roald Dahl’s continuing efforts to make the museum as accessible as possible, celebrating #AccessDay. Remember, thanks to the Signly app, you can visit any day and be guaranteed BSL interpretation of the galleries.

Signed stories day

Head to the Roald Dahl Museum on Saturday 12 March for BSL signed stories and talks, and try out our sign language app, Signly.

Helen from the Museum’s learning team will be delivering signed sessions from 11am. Join in with signed storytelling from Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes at 11.30am, 12.30pm and 1.30pm, and find out about Roald Dahl’s writing routine on one of the signed Writing Hut Talks at 11am, 12pm and 1pm.

The drop-in sessions are free with Museum entry and suitable for anyone to attend whether deaf or hearing. There’s no need to book and visitors can attend as many sessions as they like.

Visitors may also like to try out Signly in the museum. You can download the app before your visit (or while at the Museum using the free WiFi), and use it to unlock BSL signed information around the Museum by scanning QR codes. There are over 20 Signly points around the Museum, it’s like having your own interpreter in your pocket.

The Museum’s Swashboggling Signed Stories Day is part of Disabled Access Day. You can find out about accessibility at the Museum here, and find information about general admission and visiting here.

Breakfast feature

Signly, was launched at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre on Monday 7th December. Since then the interest has snowballed, resulting in the BBC breakfast team featuring the app on its Sunday morning output.

Signly’s own Philip Boyle was invited on to the sofas of the BBC to explain the inspiration behind the new app and what the aims are for the future.

“The coverage on BBC Breakfast and News is a great opportunity to spread the word about Signly and its benefits. The feedback from the launch has been fantastic, and lots of companies have already come forward, interested in how the app can help them communicate more effectively with sign language users.” Philip Boyle

Signly uses the power of a smart phone or tablet to deliver sign language content directly to the user. The initial launch has been a success in the Roald Dahl Museum and future developments could see the app being used in education, health, transport and services. The possibilities are endless and the access to signed content for the deaf community could be limitless.