Case Study – Sign Solutions



Who is Sign Solutions?

Long-established business, Sign Solutions is the market leader in providing communication services that enables Deaf and hearing people to communicate. Under the Equality Act 2020 Deaf people should have equal access to products, services and work without facing barriers when accessing information. Sign Solutions specialist services ensure that communication and information is accessible to all. 

The company’s success is credited to its long-standing commitment to providing high quality interpretation, translation and training. As well as evolving its services over the last 20 years through investment in technology to ensure Deaf and hearing people can communicate at any time, anywhere, in-person or over the phone using NRCPD registered, experienced and qualified in-person or video British Sign Language (BSL) and English interpreters.

The Midlands-based team offers a range of solutions suitable for companies and employers of all sizes, across the UK. These solutions include BSL Interpreters and other types of communication, training, e-learning and BSL translations. They also provide expert witness reports, interpreter training and deaf awareness training, in person or online.

Over the next few years, the company will continue to develop its video interpreting platform features and further invest in personnel, marketing and a new website in order to achieve rapid growth within this innovative emerging segment of the market.

As a Disability Confident employer and leader in their field, Sign Solutions is well placed to offer one-stop advice and solutions all in one place. Starting up as the first independent provider of such services, they have built a stellar reputation for meeting the needs of the people they work with. Notably, the organisation has achieved ISO 9001/27001 accreditation, demonstrating its commitment to quality and security and this coupled with their reputation has enabled them to secure and retain public and private sector contracts across the UK.

 How Midven helped 

Midven invested in Sign Solutions through the  Midlands Engine Investment Fund (MEIF), in January 2019. The business has already experienced a number of direct benefits as a result of Midven’s funding. These have included personnel benefits, such as the recruitment of seven full-time employees across sales, marketing and interpretation; upskilling the workforce through HR and leadership training. Other benefits have been seen through investment in the video interpreting platform to increase the capacity of the service and its features and online software for managing reporting and employees.

Interpreterslive! has opened up new markets for Sign Solutions, where interpretation services were not used before, as it is the duty of a company under the Equality Act to ensure that their products and services are accessible in-person or over the phone, so implementing the Interpreterslive! service increases the accessibility rating of any organisation’s website, helps them meet their equality duties and at the same time increases the favourable experiences of existing customers and gains them new customers! The video interpreting service allows spontaneous and instant access to an interpreter via a video link on a PC, phone or tablet through the starleaf app; allowing for flexibility, savings on travel costs and reducing the carbon footprint. The development of this service ensures the overall reduction of communicative barriers, which is at the heart of everything Sign Solutions does. 

All of this makes for a promising start. In fact, with the help of MEIF, Sign Solutions has already experienced a c. 30% increase in turnover in its current financial year. Looking forward, the business is projected to continue the same growth trajectory in the coming years as video interpreting really penetrates the market.

 Why Sign Solutions? 

 Clare Vale, Managing Director of Sign Solutions, says:

“Midven understood our potential as soon as we were introduced, after growing organically for the last 21 years, their belief and the MEIF investment coupled with our vision, has ensured we have experienced 30% growth in just over 12 months. We are so proud of our achievements and look forward to continually using the remaining investment to continually evolve and invest in existing and future services, to meet the changing requirements of forward thinking organisations and their Deaf customers and employees”

March 2020 Update

Since the investment, Sign Solutions has secured another six substantial contracts for the delivery of interpretation. 

As an innovative interpretation provider that has invested in video interpretation over the last six years, Sign Solutions is finding this service particularly useful in the current climate, given the outbreak of COVID-19 . This is keeping interpreters safe and ensuring Deaf service users still have access to the vital information they require.