• Merlin Entertainments and SignLive to provide virtual interpreter services to all UK attractions

  • Merlin aims to enhance inclusivity for Deaf and hard of hearing guests. Guests in the UK can access British Sign Language interpreters instantly through mobile devices

Merlin Entertainments, the global leader in branded entertainment destinations, has partnered with SignLive, an innovative provider of sign language services, to enhance accessibility and inclusivity for Deaf and hard of hearing guests in the UK. Through the SignLive platform, guests to Merlin’s UK attractions will be able to access video interpreting services via mobile devices, including instant access to British Sign Language interpreters (BSL).

This partnership demonstrates Merlin’s ongoing commitment to inclusivity and providing as many guests as possible with a great day out by ensuring access to on-demand sign language interpretation services for Deaf and hard-of-hearing visitors ahead of their visit. The partnership will initially be rolled out at Merlin's renowned attractions within the UK, including LEGOLAND® Windsor, Thorpe Park and Alton Towers Resort as well as others from its iconic Gateway Attractions brand portfolio including the London Eye, Warwick Castle, and SEA LIFE.

Guests interested in utilising the service can access it through the official attraction websites, which will redirect them to the SignLive website, where, guests will be able to log in and connect with a British Sign Language interpreter.

As part of its progress to ensure equitable access to communication for all, Merlin has worked alongside those with lived experience, including the ‘Internal Intelligence Group’, comprising of Merlin colleagues. Andrew Baillie, a Moulder in the Merlin Magic Making division, is one of those colleagues, having himself had hearing loss. Andrew emphasises the role of SignLive in fostering seamless interactions between individuals with varying hearing abilities and ensuring that no guest feels excluded at Merlin attractions. He said: "Embracing accessibility is so important and SignLive has been instrumental in granting me newfound independence in my personal and professional life. I take immense pride in contributing to the introduction of this transformative service, which promises to extend its benefits to our guests across the UK who use BSL every day.”

"At Merlin, inclusivity is not just a commitment; it's a key part of our mission to be the greatest place to work and play. Our partnership with SignLive underscores our pursuit of breaking down barriers and ensuring that every guest, regardless of their abilities, can fully enjoy the magic of our attractions. By incorporating SignLive's technology, we are delighted to unveil solutions tailored for our guests who rely on BSL regularly. This marks just the start of our journey, as we aspire to extend our reach to encompass the entire d/Deaf community, including those who may not use BSL. This partnership represents a pivotal moment in our ongoing commitment to foster a world where accessibility is a shared goal for all.”

Kate McBirnie, UK Accessibility Manager at Merlin Entertainments

“We're incredibly excited about this partnership with Merlin Entertainments. Together, we're taking significant strides towards making each experience more inclusive for Deaf visitors. Making calls in BSL will be straightforward and customers will be able to experience Merlin's attractions with fewer communication barriers. We're proud to be part of this initiative and look forward to seeing the important impact it can have for attractions’ guest experience in the future.”

Fiona Mackay, Chief Operating Officer at SignLive

Merlin’s efforts to enhance BSL across its attractions have been supported with a range of initiatives, including at SEA LIFE London Aquarium, which has announced it will be delivering key information about its Attraction Zones through BSL videos. By providing essential details in BSL, the aquarium is ensuring that every visitor can fully immerse themselves in the magic of underwater worlds.

For more information on Merlin’s commitment to accessibility, visit: https://www.merlinentertainments.biz/responsible-business/people-and-communities/accessibility/