German Company Integrates Sign Language Avatar Into an Instruction Leaflet

Ingelheim, Germany// – Boehringer Ingelheim is the first pharmaceutical company to integrate a sign language avatar into an instruction leaflet, making vital product information easily accessible to deaf people.

For most deaf people, sign language is their mother tongue. Many learn spoken and written language, but medical terms remain a challenge.

This is exactly where the digital translator comes in: He translates and explains complex terms for the use and handling of the drug in animated sign language and offers a comprehensive lexicon for specific technical terms.

Access to the animated product information is easy and barrier-free via a QR code in the package insert: The code can be scanned with the smartphone and forwarded to a website.

Explanatory videos with and without a digital sign translator are stored there. The offer has recently been tested in a first package insert in German, with more to follow.

Around 70 million people worldwide are deaf. For many of them, processing the daily flood of messages is an enormous challenge, as little information is offered in sign language. But barrier-free communication makes all the difference, especially when it comes to vital content.

“It is very important to us to create the best framework conditions for our employees and for our patients and to enable real participation.

In this way, we lay the foundation for everyone to develop their full potential and make a significant contribution to Boehringer Ingelheim’s sustainability strategy. We want to break down barriers and build bridges.

We are very pleased that with this new application our products are accessible to deaf patients without any hurdles and are easy to understand, ”says Olaf Guttzeit, inclusion officer at Boehringer Ingelheim in Germany.

For the technical implementation, the Boehringer Ingelheim team has teamed up with Sign Time, a software service provider from Austria. The Viennese specialists combine the animated avatar with a computer program that is constantly learning and expanding the avatar’s vocabulary.

“With our offer, we are committed to making the world accessible to deaf people. As far as we know, there is no other pharmaceutical company that uses an avatar to provide complex product information for deaf people so easily.

Together with Boehringer Ingelheim, we are happy about this important milestone on the way to more participation ”, Georg Tschare, Managing Director of Sign Time said.

For Boehringer Ingelheim, inclusion is deeply anchored in the corporate culture. In 2012, Boehringer Ingelheim was the first German company to publish an action plan that put the UN Disability Rights Convention into practice.

In 2020, the measures were evaluated and significant progress was made in the fields of workplace design, health management, prevention and rehabilitation, as well as mobility and accessibility.

In the past year, the topics of digital participation and accessibility in particular gained in importance. In addition to the sign language avatar, information and learning opportunities in particular helped employees with and without disabilities to use the internal software solutions optimally and to adapt them to their needs.

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