7 May 2021

BSL videos – what types there are and what to use them for

A2i are really pleased to be expanding our BSL videos service.

Although lots of people know what BSL is (British Sign Language), not many people know about the different types of video you can get, and what they are used for.

BSL videos help you make your information accessible to all deaf and hard-of-hearing British Sign Language (BSL) users. We’re not just talking about adding BSL to your current videos, you can also make BSL videos of your written information e.g. leaflets, questionnaires, service information, and training materials.

Did you know?

BSL is a complete language. It has its own vocabulary, word order and grammar. For BSL users, standard English will be their 2nd or 3rd language so understanding complicated messages can be a problem. That’s why it’s important to put your information into BSL.

3 types of video

If you want to communicate with BSL users, there are 3 main types of video to consider:

1. BSL-only videos (with/without subtitles)

These videos simply have a BSL signer signing your script or document. The signer uses the whole screen. Subtitles can also be added.
At A2i we include your branding colours and logos, and text for sections or headings.

BSL signer
BSL signer









2. BSL signer added to your existing video (with/without subtitles)

This is for when you already have a video, but it is not accessible to deaf people.
A signer is inset in an appropriate place on your existing video such as in the corner, and signs alongside the audio. Subtitles can also be added.

BSL signer with video in the background









3. Subtitles added to your existing/BSL video

This is your existing video, with a written transcript of the dialogue added.
There are auto-subtitling services out there. But beware! These are often not very accurate.
At A2i we use a full human-interfaced process which is far more accurate than auto-subtitling. Our subtitles are fully synchronised with speech and/or signing.

Video with subtitles









What to use BSL videos for

BSL is the preferred language of around 151,000 Deaf people in the UK (2016 BDA). They need the same range of information as everyone else. Here are some examples of ways you could use BSL and subtitles to communicate with them in a friendly and efficient way:

1. Translation of letters, brochures and other written documents.

Put the videos on your website for easy access by everyone, and add a QR code to your standard English documents so customers have instant access to a BSL translation of your important information.

2. Put BSL and subtitles videos onto your website and social media.

Get your message to everyone in one video.
Remember – most videos on social media are watched on mute, so subtitles will help everyone see your message, not just people who are hard-of hearing.

3. Add subtitles to online learning videos.

For example, universities, colleges and other training providers.
The COVID lockdown has taught us all how important information is, and how hard it can be to access online learning with everyone experiencing different connection speeds, volume levels, and some noisy work spaces! Subtitles, make your online learning videos more accessible and more flexible.

A2i’s BSL services

A2i produce high-quality BSL videos, at competitive prices. Watch an example on our website or on our YouTube page.

We offer:
• BSL-only videos (with/without subtitles)
• BSL signer added to your existing video (with/without subtitles)
• Subtitles added to your existing/BSL video

See the BSL page on our website for more information about our range of BSL services.

A2i’s BSL quality

All of A2i’s BSL signers are Deaf, and highly qualified. They have extensive experience with a range of subject matters and high-profile projects including within the commercial, voluntary and education sectors. They are all Registered Sign Language Interpreters (RSLI) and are on the National Register of Communication Professionals working with Deaf and DeafBlind people (NRCPD).

For more information about A2i’s BSL service, or a quote, just get in touch with A2i’s friendly team at
Email: info@a2i.co.uk
Web: www.a2i.co.uk
Telephone: 01179 44 00 44
Or use our quick quote form

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