Sign language and signed programming

Many broadcasters offer signed versions of their show, and others, like us, contribute to content created in British Sign Language (BSL) by the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust (BSLBT).

To see whether a show has sign language:

  • Highlight the programme in your TV guide and check the programme information for the letters SL (sign language). Using an older Sky box? You might need to press I on you Sky remote to bring up the programme information
  • You can also check for sign language while watching TV by bringing up the programme banner or mini guide and checking for the letters SL.

Highlight programmes that have sign language

On Sky Q, Sky Glass and Sky Stream you can set up your TV guide to highlight programmes that have sign language. To do this:

  1. Press Home on your Sky remote.
  2. Go to Settings and select Accessibility.
  3. Select Highlight programmes and then Sign language
Key Information

Unlike subtitles, sign language can’t be switched on or off as it’s part of the broadcast.

Programmes acted in BSL

We know how important BSL is in shows for d/Deaf and hard of hearing people. That’s why we contribute funding to the BSLBT – a charity that commissions TV shows made in BSL by d/Deaf people, for d/Deaf people.

BSLBT’s TV shows are available On Demand on Sky. To watch them:

  1. Press Home on your Sky Q remote and go to On Demand
  2. Select Channels then BSL Zone
  3. Select the show you want to watch, then press select to download it
  1. Press tv guide on your Sky remote
  2. Select Catch Up TV and then BSL Zone
  3. Select the show you want to watch, then press select to download it
  1. Say "Hello Sky, BSL Zone" near your Sky Glass TV or press and hold the blue Voice button on your Sky remote and say "BSL Zone".
  2. Choose the show you want to watch by pressing Select. Or select 'Add series link' so the latest episodes will be automatically added to your Playlist when they're available.
  1. Open the app and press Browse, then Catch up.
  2. Under Channels select BSL Zone.
  3. Select the show you'd like to watch and press play or Download

BSLBT content is also available on the Community Channel and Film 4 and in the BSL Zone player and mobile app.

BSLBT was set up in 2008 to offer commercial broadcasters and alternative way to meet Ofcom’s regulatory requirements to offer sign language on their TV channels. We’ve been working closely with them ever since, and share their vision:

  • To enrich the lives of the BSL community with shows made from d/Deaf people’s perspectives to inform, educate, entertain and inspire.
  • To attract the widest possible audience with a rich and diverse BSL and d/Deaf culture.
  • To encourage, support, and develop d/Deaf people’s skills in making TV shows.