Hello, my name is Mick Canavan and I currently run a social enterprise called SignWeb.

I have been involved in a large number of projects (both paid and unpaid) relating to the Deaf community for over 20 years.  Initially I worked at the Centre for Deaf Studies (University of Bristol) both as a researcher and also as a project team leader for various technical EU/UK projects before leaving to set up a non-profit company called EyeGaze (a pre-cursor to SignWeb) which specialised in Deaf accessibility.  I have been lucky enough to work with some great people and have been at the forefront of providing some very innovative and tailor made solutions for greater Deaf accessibility both in the private and public sphere. This has included hundreds of web hosted British Sign Language (BSL) videos for councils and government departments as well as educational and leisure sign language DVD’s, BSL newsletters, BSL multimedia museum guides and E-learning materials for European projects.

We have successfully provided interactive sign language guides for the following public institutions:

The SS Great Britain

The Tate Britain (special exhibition for Leonardo Da Vinci)

The Staircase

Wimbledon Museum

British Museum

The Imperial War Museum

In a voluntary capacity, I have been elected chair of a local charity (Family Centre for Deaf Children) on two occasions and was also a trustee for many years before that. I have also been a parent governor at the local Deaf school in Bristol for a number of years.

My personal interest, or rather my awareness of the Deaf community began when my partner and I (both hearing) were told that our first child was Deaf.  After the initial shock and after a great deal of research we decided to use British Sign Language within the home and I am happy to say that almost a quarter of a century later our choice turned out to be the correct one, for both our family as a whole and for our daughter in particular.

SignWeb has recently moved away from the production of multimedia guides and translation materials towards the production of ‘e-learning’ materials – our latest courses can be viewed here.

If you are in need of advice or a partner for a particular project then please email me: michael@eyesign.co.uk