Business Signs Project

The Business Signs Project has been developed as part of Deaf Business Academy’s ongoing work to improve and develop resources to support Deaf people in business and communication professionals who work with them

We have worked with Deaf business people for over 4 years and gained a special insight into their needs, barriers and support required for them to succeed in business. Our lead researcher Dionne Thomas has worked with Deaf Entrepreneurs for nearly a decade and brings her unique knowledge and skill set to this project along with specialist support from academia and private sector business partners.

Our earlier research (2014) identified significant knowledge gaps amongst deaf business people and we have attempted to overcome this by developing BSL accessible business training (BSL for Business). This has been a useful educational tool but despite our best efforts there has been one area which still causes significant problems for deaf people and interpreters….. Business Terminology!

Business English is a variation of English used for business. There are official Business English dictionaries in both UK and the USA which are updated annually in line with other standard dictionaries.

However, the same is NOT happening with British Sign Language which still lags behind English in terms of development of signs for specialist areas. Business is one of a growing number of specialist areas that require development for BSL to create equivalent signs.

Our Business Signs Project is the first of its kind in the UK & internationally. We are only beginning to scratch the surface of this vital task; developing BSL for use in Business. We are proud to be leading this important work in partnership with the Deaf business community, academic partners, BSL teachers, BSL linguists and Business experts and will publish the world’s first Business Signs Glossary and additional resources later this year.

Please check out full details of our project using the menu.

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