Since October 2021, many deaf and hard-of-hearing athletes can take fitness classes online on the “You & Home Fitness” website. The platform offers a translation into French sign language, which has long been requested by the deaf.
The different periods of imprisonment have been challenging for many people. Patrick Letailleur is no exception. Director of the Fitness Club Concept, which has eight fitness clubs in Alsace, came up with the idea after confinement to offer online courses to subscribers to his gyms.
Since the factories were closed everywhere in France between September 2020 and last June, we had to innovate: “We have set up a real film studio in our room in Strasbourg. And under the principle of a subscription, subscribers can choose their exercises on our streaming platform You & Home Fitness”explains Patrick Letailleur.
It was then that a deaf subscriber called the director of the fitness rooms: “This lady tells me “There’s nothing for us!”, and it clicked for me. I understood that for them it was like double isolation. The deaf could only imitate the gestures of the coach, but without understanding the instructions “.
To make up for this lack, Patrick Letailleur invited Anne-Christine Legris, a French Sign Language (LSF) interpreter from Saverne, Bas-Rhin: “The project immediately interested me. There are no deaf sports coaches in Alsace and only one or two in France.”explains.
Specifically, while the coach performs his exercises, Anne-Christine Legris interprets in LSF on an inlaid screen:
Anne-Christine Legris had never had an experience like this: “We had to organize ourselves, so that I would not take the teacher in hand, and pay attention to the dialogues. The sports session should not be complicated to follow. You have to be careful, so that people can look at the gestures to be made, and then look at the my interpretation “.
The device is still in its infancy, but the interpreter, herself a sportswoman, knows that it will delight many people: “Many deaf athletes have not been able to train, there was a real demand. Now it is possible and the project is really interesting. We would like to continue like this.” Today about sixty exercises in LSF are offered.
Knowing how to interpret sport was truly an air bubble.Anne-Christine Legris
French Sign Language (LSF) interpreter.
Usually, Anne-Christine Legris specializes in justice, and is called in the medical community or political parties: “Being able to play sport was really an air bubble. Sure, it took work, but it was a little lighter than what I was doing in a hospital setting, especially during a pandemic …”
With this initiative, Patrick Letailleur hopes to reach a new audience and answer a real problem faced by deaf and hard of hearing athletes who practice French Sign Language: “It’s something that really matters to me. People are improving the human condition with wheelchairs and I hope to bring some happiness to homes my way.”
In keeping with the approach, for each new subscription purchased on the You & Home Fitness website, one euro will be donated to the National Federation of the Deaf of France. Patrick Letailleur will also write soon to Federation president Vincent Cottineau to inform him of the news of him.