This year the Isle of Man TT Races will become more accessible to deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people.

Available now, TT fans around the world will have access to a live text transcript of the race commentary via the TTLive service on the website.

The Manx Deaf society has arranged stenographers to provide subtitle text for the Vauxhall Radio TT commentary on all four race days which is accessible on any smart phone, tablet or PC with an internet connection.

Duke and RL360 have sponsored the ground-breaking new service.

Natalie Hall, RL360°’s Director of Marketing, said:

 “RL360° is extremely proud to be linked to this pioneering project. The TT is a global event and, as such, should be as accessible as possible to all. As the longest running race sponsor at the event, RL360° is fully behind the work the Manx Deaf Society is doing.”

Adam Duke from Duke worked with the Palantypist team at to develop the live subtitling system which is now integrated into the TTLive service.

Adam commented:

“Duke is delighted to partner with the Manx Deaf Society and create this transformative new service which will improve accessibility of this great event and benefit all followers of the TT.  We can’t wait for TT fans world-wide to enjoy the racing using the new system.”

In addition to the new TT Live system, on Senior Race Day a British Sign Language interpreter will provide signed commentary of the racing action at the TT Grandstand. Members of the Isle of Man Deaf community will enjoy VIP Grandstand seating thanks to sponsorship by Process 42 Limited. David Ronan will also take the group on a tour of the tower.

Ian Buxton, Chair of Manx Deaf Society said:

“If you take away the scoring and the commentary at a football match any fan would lose interest very quickly. Now imagine watching the TT with no sound and no commentary to explain what is happening. It is pretty hard to follow with hearing, impossible without, until now. Like many things on the Isle of Man, D/deaf TT idea grew more legs than expected!

We don’t think that there has been a major motor racing event with simultaneous BSL and subtitle support before. This could be a world first for the Isle of Man.

A donation button has been added on the commentary box for fans of the TT to send Manx Deaf Society a donation to help with the costs of providing the expert BSL Interpreter and Palantypist support to make this happen for everyone. “

  • Notes:The IOM Deaf Society would like to thank the following people who helped to develop the project:

    David Allan and Colin Faragher for BSL language creation
    Laurence Skelly MHK, David Cretney MLC, David Ronan and Sophie Lowney from DED
    Adam and Peter Duke of Duke Marketing
    Angela Gregory at RL360 Quantum for being a major sponsor
    Anthony Wilkins of Scorch
    Delivery team partners Carol Kyle of CoSign and Orla Pearson and Elaine at for their support in realising the vision.
    Lucy Buxton – TT language tour and hours of organisation behind the scenes

    If any of the TT sponsors or other organisations in the Isle of Man or further afield would like to lend their support to this exciting project we will be very grateful to involve them as we hope to extend this project in coming years in response to the strong interest we have received.”

    For further news please follow updates on Manx Radio, TTLive text commentary box and Twitter: @iom_tt or @DeafManx