Brighton University students design website to help deaf people find traders

Posted On 21 Nov 2013 at 9:20 am
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By Jenni Davidson

Two Brighton University students have designed a website that enables deaf people to find traders who can communicate with them.

It can be difficult for deaf and hard of hearing people to contact tradesmen such as plumbers, electricians and decorators.

DeafProSussex is a trader search website where deaf people will be able to find traders who can communicate with them, either in clear English or in British Sign Language (BSL).

Students Mike Ernst and Daniel Whiteland-Smith won a university competition to design and build the bespoke website.

Mr Whiteland-Smith, who is studying Software Engineering, said: “It’s really rewarding knowing this will help people with hearing disabilities.”

DeafProSussex was the idea of DeafCOG (Deaf Cultural Outreach Group), a social enterprise that aims to provide deaf people with access to resources and employment opportunities.

DeafCOG was awarded a grant to develop the website by the Government’s Strengthening DPULOs (Disabled People’s User-Led Organisations) facilitation fund.

A professional web designer would have been too expensive, so DeafCOG and Brighton University’s social engagement team offered students the chance to take part in a competition to create the site.

The two students were praised for the successful design which will provide each trader with a short video about their services accompanied by either BSL or subtitles.

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