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 hello@signly.co


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 mark@signly.co 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 isabelle@roalddahlmuseum.org 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 helen@deafax.org

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.

Signly: the sign language interpreter in your pocket

Signly Banner_centre justified

Revolutionary new app unlocks cultural venues for deaf people

A unique app is unlocking cultural venues for deaf people – starting with the world of master storyteller Roald Dahl.

Sign language is the preferred language for many deaf people, and the Signly app, now in use at the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, delivers smart signed content directly to the user’s device. The visitor simply opens the app and points it at a Signly logo to play the relevant video.  Sign language interpreters appear via the app, as if the visitor had brought their own interpreter along in their pocket.

At the Museum, Signly users can for example, aim their smartphone at the Signly label positioned near Roald Dahl’s writing chair to get signed content about the exacting daily routine he followed to create his famous tales. Users can enjoy the venue without having to make their ‘special needs’ known.

Signly was conceived and developed by Mark Applin, founder of Intermedia, and Deafax, a charity committed to transforming the lives of deaf people through technology.

The Roald Dahl Museum in Buckinghamshire, UK, is the first venue where visitors can use Signly. The Museum supported the creation of the app and facilitated on-site user testing to improve the app experience.  Museum Director, Steve Gardam said:

“We’re delighted to have been the first venue to trial the Signly app, as we strive to make our museum more accessible for more people. We love how Signly allows you to look ‘through’ your smartphone and still see the museum on the other side. Roald Dahl’s own inventiveness led to the creation of the Wade-Dahl-Till valve to help people with hydrocephalus. Signly is entirely in this spirit of working together to find creative and practical solutions”.

Signly is filling a substantial gap in the market. Users with hearing problems say the technology has ‘added a new dimension to our lives’ (Faye, parent of deaf child). Nine million people in the UK have hearing difficulties. There are 45,000 deaf children. With 90 per cent of deaf youngsters born to hearing parents, Signly is the gateway to the perfect family day out.

“Good idea. They are helping deaf to understand.” (Deaf child, aged 8)

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Logo (horizontal)Signly is ideal for any venue looking to be more accessible for deaf users. By using people’s own smart devices, it makes a huge difference without having to install major infrastructure. Intermedia Solutions will work with a venue to translate its key messages into filmed sign language for the app, triggered at key locations on the visitor route simply by holding up a smart device. 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. Future releases will include options to scan objects as well as labels to reveal signed content.


Roald DahlThe 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.

Come for an inclusive family visit over the Christmas holidays; try out Signly and join in with Christmas clue trails, crafts and storytelling.  To celebrate Disabled Access Day, on Saturday 12 March, the Museum has BSL signed talks and storytelling sessions throughout the day for deaf and hearing visitors of all ages.

For further information about the Museum,
please contact:
Isabelle Reynolds 
isabelle@roalddahlmuseum.org
01494 892192


DeafaxEstablished in 1985, Deafax develops solutions and opportunities for deaf people, in order 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 further information about Signly, if you are an organisation interested in implementing Signly, or would like to arrange a site visit to the Roald Dahl Museum, please contact:
Philip Boyle 
philip@deafax.org
07793 768317


Intermedia make a range of digital tools, including apps, animations, websites and films for some of the UK’s leading brands.