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Microsoft launches UK’s first national digital billboard campaign featuring sign language

Microsoft has launched the first-ever national digital billboard campaign to feature British Sign Language (BSL) to highlight the importance of accessibility in driving innovation.

The out-of-home (OOH) campaign, which will appear in major railway stations across the UK, features a 10-second clip of a BSL interpreter signing the message: “The more inclusive you are, the more innovative you can be. Together we can create a better and more accessible world for everyone.”

The campaign hopes to mark Microsoft’s five-year commitment to inclusivity and accessibility through showcasing the role technology can play in improving access to digital content for underserved communities, including the 151,000 individuals who use BSL in the UK.

The digital billboard campaign is launched alongside Microsoft’s new accessibility website that contains resources for companies to help them become more inclusive, including information on inclusive hiring practices, digital skills, growing a diverse culture and creating accessible solutions, as well as accessibility tools, case studies and tips and tricks.

The BSL interpreters for the site and digital billboards were provided by Signly, which was part of Microsoft’s AI for Good startup cohort. The company joined the Royal Association for Deaf People, JCD, Carat, Posterscope and MRM in creating the train station campaign.

The software giant is the latest in what appears to be a growing trend of tech and communication companies highlighting the importance of accessibility in their marketing.

Last month the British mobile network Giffgaff launched its first campaign in BSL. Its head of advertising Abi Pearl told The Drum at the time that not prioritizing accessibility going forward is “counterintuitive.”

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