New Red Bee Media Technology Enables Deaf Translators to Create Live Sign Language

At the recent UK Council on Deafness’ Annual Conference, Red Bee Media showcased its innovative work in live sign language translation for broadcast TV. The network’s new solution enables deaf translators to work on live programs.

Live sign language translation has traditionally needed to be provided by hearing interpreters. Red Bee Media has now developed a way for these live services to be provided by deaf translators as well. Developed over 8 years, the company combined technical innovation and expert translators to deliver a sign language service for live news & event broadcasts.

The process is simple, yet technically advanced, leveraging the company's Subito and InterSub platforms. First, live captions are created by a captioner re-speaking via Subito (the company's live captioning platform), whilst listening to a low latency audio feed of the broadcast. These captions are then reformatted through InterSub (a tool created to deliver real-time transcripts in non-broadcast environments) and presented on the studio teleprompter used by the translator to provide sign language translation on screen.

Speed and accuracy have been our focus in perfecting this setup. By combining our systems in an innovative way, we have been able to utilise the skills of our captioning and translation staff together with the speed and reliability of our platforms – enabling our deaf translation team to provide a service that was previously only possible via a hearing interpreter.
— Matt Simpson, Head of Portfolio, Access Services, Red Bee Media

The company’s deaf sign language translators provided several services on key events and certain weekend shows. While participating in the conference, Red Bee Media showcased its live British Sign Language (BSL) solution with Lesley McGilp, the Signing General Manager giving a talk on ‘Utilising the skills of deaf interpreters and new technology.

In addition, a short video has been developed explaining the live sign language translation offering. The video is available on the Red Bee Media YouTube page.

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