The signing service, based at ITV Tyne Tees’ Watermark Studios in the North East are also supporting Oak Academy.

TTTV launch SignPost in 2000.

“Finding a way to restore signing to our Soaps for viewers in lockdown was a big priority for us and I’m immensely proud of the team who have been innovative, creative and determined in equal measure in order to pull this off.” – Kenny Toal, Director of ITV SignPost

Signing has returned to ITV’s Soaps this week after the channel’s SignPost team devised a safe method of producing the service during lockdown.

Restrictions had meant a temporary pause to sign language being available to Coronation Street and Emmerdale viewers because of social distancing ruling out use of the SignPost studio.

However, the Gateshead-based SignPost team have been working tirelessly to devise a new way of working that allows signing to be applied to episodes while adhering to safety guidelines. This was then trialled before being authorised to allow filming to begin last week.

The service will now return and be available to viewers from this evening.

The announcement comes during Deaf Awareness Week alongside news that the ITV SignPost team have also pledged to provide signing for the Oak National Academy. SignPost will provide signing on video content for Maths and English lessons for Years 1-3 for the Government-backed online teaching resource to support school children during lockdown.

The SignPost service was launched by Tyne Tees Television in 1998, although wasn’t named as such until two years later. Tyne Tees had provided regional signed news as a segment in local magazine show Northern Life since the late 1980s. In 1992 a half-hour signed and subtitled weekly news programme Tyne Tees Newsweek launched as well as other sign language ideas including a Tyne Tees ident signed across an awareness week in 1994.

The first broadcaster to commission signing from Tyne Tees Signpost was Channel 4 in 1998. Others using the service include BSLBT, the Scottish Parliament and, following becoming part of the ITVplc network in 2004, the team provide all Access Services for all ITV channels including subtitles and Audio Description.

“It’s vitally important that all young people are able to access learning at this difficult time. We’re delighted to be able to offer some support to the wonderful work being done by the Oak National Academy by providing signing for young children to help them continue their development during lockdown.” – Kenny Toal, Director of ITV SignPost

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