A London law firm has announced the integration of sign language and video relay into its provision of legal services, something it describes as “a first for law firms globally”.
Culver Law specialises in tax planning services, wills, trusts, estate administration, wills and probate disputes, and Court of Protection services for vulnerable people.
The firm announced a partnership with Signly, describing it as a “pioneering initiative” that is “set to revolutionise the legal landscape by breaking down communication barriers for the members of the community who use sign language”.
Amy Wallhead, Partner at Culver Law, shared her enthusiasm for the partnership:
“It has always been my firm belief that law should be accessible to everyone, irrespective of their communication preferences. My passion for British Sign Language (BSL) stems from a deep-seated desire to ensure that the deaf community receive equal representation and understanding in the legal arena. With Signly on board, we are taking a monumental step forward in fulfilling that vision.”
Tim Scanell, Signly Ambassador, expressed his pride in the collaboration:
“It’s immensely gratifying to see a prestigious firm like Culver Law Ltd recognise the importance of BSL in bridging the communication gap. This venture isn’t just about the inclusion of a language; it’s a statement that deaf individuals have the right to clear, unobstructed access to legal services.”
“We are thrilled to embark on this journey towards becoming a deaf-friendly law firm,” said Michael Culver, Managing Director, Culver Law. He continued:
“Our commitment to inclusivity drives us to adapt and embrace new practices that ensure equal access to trained legal professionals for all.
People often don’t realise that for many in the deaf community their first language isn’t English but is British Sign Language. BSL has a very different grammatical structure to that of English and other languages so subtitles and written text often aren’t particularly helpful. By incorporating Signly into our website it means clients can consider our services in their first language. This is far more useful and beneficial than just written text and is especially important when it comes to technical legal terminology.
Further, by joining up with SignVideo we can ensure that the Deaf community gets immediate and understandable legal advice and assistance when they need it rather than incurring delay with the traditional approach of arranging interpreters and perhaps struggling to communicate with the legal providers in the first place.
In addition, we have conducted training sessions for our employees to raise awareness about deaf culture, communication best practices, and understanding the unique needs of deaf clients. This commitment to education ensures that all staff members are well-equipped to cater to the diverse needs of our clients.
We hope, by taking the lead on this, that we will inspire other law firms to follow suit ultimately creating a more accessible and inclusive legal landscape for the Deaf community.”