Scotch Whisky Experience adds sign languages to tours

The Scotch Whisky Experience has become the first visitor attraction in Edinburgh to offer whisky tours in British and American Sign Language.

The Royal Mile attraction has invested more than £50,000 in multi-functional audio guides which feature interpreters conducting tours in BSL and ASL.

About 80% of visitors to The Scotch Whisky Experience come from overseas, so subtitled tours in German, Spanish, French, Italian, Dutch and Swedish will also soon launch.

The addition of the new BSL and ASL devices means the attraction now offers whisky tours in a total of 20 languages.

Lenka Whyles, head of operations at The Scotch Whisky Experience, said: “Investing in American and British Sign Language to enhance our suite of languages shows both our commitment to accessibility.

“Careful consideration has been given to the background colour of the screen on the new devices, as well as the clothes of the interpreters to make them as user-friendly as possible. We also flew one of the American signers over from the US.”

Last year, the attraction was upgraded to allow increased flexibility for wheelchair users and a wheelchair was purchased for visitors to use for free.

Pictured are visitor Deborah Preston with hearing dog Tess, and Joseph Sheridan, part of the BSL/ASL translation team at Scotch Whisky Experience and head of ITV SignPost Scotland.