6th June 2018 @ 12:15 pm - 2:00 pm
Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

This event is exclusive to Culture Republic Partners

New technologies have changed the lives of people with disabilities, allowing them to enjoy experiences and access spaces which may once have been impractical or even impossible.

As arts and cultural organisations continue to embrace these new technologies, digital offerings provide exciting opportunities for accessibility challenges faced by venues.

In this First Wednesday, guest speaker Mark Applin will talk us through one such digital tool, Signly, which is already helping d/Deaf audiences in the UK, including in the Roald Dhal Museum.

Using augmented reality, Signly allows visitors to use their mobile device to access information such as posters, signs and directions, through an on-screen BSL interpreter, providing a sign language alternative to the written word.

Offering services such as this encourages improved communication and greater independence for the profoundly d/Deaf, whose first language can often be BSL and who rely heavily on interpreters. It also provides a good first step towards ensuring diversity and inclusion in your audience, specifically in this case leading to the Scottish Governments upcoming British Sign Language National Plan.


  • A background into the tools already available to d/Deaf audiences and what future technology is coming soon.
  • Benefits of inclusive design and providing for visitors and audience with disabilities.
  • Case studies of Signly being used in arts and cultural projects.
  • How your organisation can begin to offer more access options for d/Deaf visitors

who is the workshop for?

General managers, visitor experience managers, access & participation officers, marketers and anyone involved in accessibility measures and outreach to vulnerable groups.


Mark Applin – Co-founder of Signly

Mark is a Digital Communications Designer and co-founder of Signly, an assistive sign language app which delivers BSL augmented reality for d/Deaf users.

Signly was developed in association with the Deaf charity, DEAFAX, in 2014, and has garnered accolades such as winner of the 2017 Jodi Award, semi-finalist of the 2017 European Social Innovation Competition and winner of the Financial Innovation Awards 2017 for best Financial Inclusion or Outreach Initiative.


Some of the most stimulating sessions take place when there’s the opportunity to step away from the pressure of a busy job, get together with colleagues and share learning.

That’s why we host ‘First Wednesdays’ – a series of topical, bite-sized information sessions taking place on the first Wednesday of each month.

They are an open invitation each month for our Partners and industry colleagues to regularly drop in our offices to keep up to date with ideas and examples of useful practice we’ve gathered from across the country.

It might be as simple as hearing how other people have successfully tackled the same challenges you face building profitable customer relationships and wider public engagement or learning about the raft of new tools or approaches emerging daily.

Our goal is to inspire fresh thinking, expand current networks and focus on the Most Important Thing … to build new audiences and greater engagement.

If you can’t join us in person, why not sign up for a periscope registration. You will be able to tune in remotely so you can still hear from our speakers from wherever you are!

Join the conversation #1stWed



What can I bring to the event?

Please bring your own electrical devices.

Where can I contact the organiser with any questions?

If you have any questions prior to the event please contact us on scotland@culturerepublic.co.uk

How do I watch on Periscope?

Register for a periscope ticket (up to 48 hrs before the event), then you will receive instructions to make sure you are all set up on the Periscope app. On the day, we will invite you to the broadcast and you can watch along on your mobile device.