Opening up the barriers of communication with S5

Mis à jour le Friday 05 April 2024
Publié le Thursday 21 March 2024 par Aïni Rouiaï

In a world where communication is essential, S5 stands out as a shining beacon of hope, offering deaf people and their families unique opportunities to learn and develop through sign language.

Founded on the belief that language barriers should never hinder access to education and vocational training, S5 is committed to transforming lives through the teaching of sign language.

S5 is a Swiss non-profit association based in Geneva and recognized as being of public interest.

Founded in October 2011 by a group of people motivated to produce information available in sign language, the association has grown steadily to expand its sign language offering.

Their vision is simple but powerful: "Together, let's build a free and happy society with the deaf".

S5 aims to create an environment where deaf people and their families can flourish without constraints. Through training, multimedia, and audiovisual productions and events, the association aims to promote and disseminate sign language and a positive vision of deaf culture. It aims to encourage access to information and communication for deaf people and their families by all possible means.

The S5 association is built around 5 core values that form an integral part of its identity:

  • Sharing: sharing our vision of the world, our values, our knowledge and skills
  • Optimism: Spreading a positive vision of deaf culture
  • Pride: Living with our identity as an added value (deafness is part of our integrity)
  • Solidarity: To have the feeling of belonging to a socio-cultural group where everyone helps one another
  • Freedom: Being able to make the choices you want, with all the resources you need to achieve them

Programs and Services

The association offers a variety of courses, ranging from an introduction to sign language to more advanced training, tailored to both personal and professional needs. These programs are designed to be inclusive, interactive, and, above all, effective.

It also offers a wide range of conferences, available face-to-face or online, allowing its audience to explore new passions or deepen their knowledge through the experiences and testimonies of the speakers.

The association also organizes a large number of cultural outings in the form of trips or sporting discoveries. All outings are organized and managed by a cultural coordinator and an administrative assistant. All travelers are accompanied by deaf guides who speak sign language (French or international).

It has also developed a concept called Sound Off, the aim of which is to plunge hearing people into the world of silence using headphones so that for a moment they can put themselves in the shoes of the deaf and experience their reality. They are organized in 4 sensitive areas: bars, training institutions, public services, private companies, and events.

Our support

Helvetic Payroll, with its strong commitment to social inclusion, is partnering with the S5 association to provide meaningful support to deaf people and their families. This collaboration is characterized by a holistic approach, combining vital financial support with more personal and direct contributions from Helvetic Payroll employees. Helvetic Payroll doesn't just provide monetary resources; it also gets involved through probono actions. Helvetic Payroll employees contribute their time, expertise, and passion to this cause, offering tutorials and training in sign language.

Alarmingly, deaf people are three to four times more likely to be unemployed than hearing people. This disproportion is largely due to a lack of knowledge and apprehension on the part of many employers about hiring deaf people. This reluctance often stems from a lack of information and a limited understanding of the challenges and abilities of deaf people.

Many employers do not realize that deafness, far from limiting a person's ability to contribute meaningfully in the workplace, simply presents a different set of communication and interaction considerations. This lack of understanding leads to prejudice and unnecessary barriers to employment for deaf people.

Furthermore, even when employed, many deaf people face significant challenges in communicating and gaining recognition for their work. Lack of appropriate means of communication and insufficient awareness among colleagues and management can lead to feelings of isolation and undervaluing of the contributions of deaf employees.

As a company, we feel strongly about highlighting this cause. We firmly believe that it is our responsibility not only to promote inclusion and diversity within our organization but also to raise awareness among the business community and the general public of the challenges faced by deaf people in the workplace. By sharing information, deconstructing prejudice, and implementing inclusive working practices, we can help to create a more welcoming and equitable working environment for all.

To find out more about the S5 association and its incredible work, visit

Together, we can make a difference.


As Marketing and Communications Manager at Helvetic Payroll, I have the chance to explore new ways of working and to develop both professionally and personally. Thanks to my encounters with talent and experts within our company, I’ve gained an in-depth understanding of payrolling and consulting. This enables me to analyse and highlight the latest developments and advantages of this status, with a view to sharing them with everyone.

0 comment