Monday, 20 July 2015
The Scottish Government has announced the extension of the current NHS 24 online British Sign Language (BSL) Video Relay Interpreting Service pilot to the rest of the public sector in Scotland. The new Scottish Government-funded service will mean deaf people can now speak to public services, such as their local council, doctor’s surgery and the Scottish Government, without the need for someone to call on their behalf.
Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, Jamie Hepburn, welcomed the new service.He said: “There are estimated to be around 6,500 people living in Scotland who use sign language and these people deserve to have the same access to services as everyone else. For the majority of people who rely on sign language to communicate, they need to arrange to have someone to call on their behalf. This new project will mean deaf people can video call an interpreter directly who will then speak to the relevant public sector organisation and act as an intermediary for the deaf person. This is a fantastic project and gives British Sign Language users equal access to public sector services, allowing them to enjoy greater participation in daily and public life.”
Andrew McCafferty, lives with his wife in Greenock, who are both profoundly deaf and recently used the video relay service to call NHS 24 – receiving treatment that saved his life.He said: “My wife and l are profoundly deaf and use British Sign Language to communicate. It can be really difficult and frustrating to communicate with doctors, police officers and workman from the council that come to carry repairs in our home. Recently l took seriously ill and contacted NHS 24 through the online BSL interpreter service. The online interpreter assisted me throughout the call and later when l received treatment at the hospital, the doctors said the treatment saved my life. This is a great service which Deaf people can use when they need it, no matter where they live in Scotland.”
ContactSCOTLAND-BSL is funded by the Scottish Government and delivered by Sign Language Interactions. Our partner SignVideo has been at the forefront of providing these types of services to the private sector for over 10 years and has already secured partnerships with the likes of Arnold Clark, O2, Vodafone and the Wheatley Group.
If you would like to find out how your business can provide this service to potential deaf clients get in touch with Martin Kershaw on 0131 3000103 at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Martin Kershaw - 09/03/2015