Council launches BSL video relay service

North East Derbyshire District Council has announced the launch of its British Sign Language video interpreter service for deaf customers in the district.

This is a major milestone for the Derbyshire Deaf Community, which boasts one of the largest Deaf populations in the UK, outside London and has already signed up to the British Deaf Association’s BSL Charter (read more).

The council aims to cater equally for all customers and the video service which is available at the council’s district offices and leisure centres means this can be accessed by deaf customers upon entering the buildings.

Enabling members of the Deaf community to manage independent communications with the council, quickly, easily and in their first language, BSL for the first time, is a significant achievement of the council’s ambitions.

North East Derbyshire District Council Cabinet Member for Communications, Cllr Alan Powell said: “We are passionate about helping all our customers regardless of ability or disability have equal access to all of our services. We have worked closely with the Deaf Community to help bring in the right resources to assist them when coming to our offices or using our leisure centres.

“The video relay service is a fantastic way for customers to speak live to a BSL trained interpreter making communication as easy as possible.”

Director of Sign Solutions Clare Vale, who developed the InterpretersLive! video service stated: “We welcome more and more councils becoming accessible to their local Deaf community.

“Deaf customers can now contact their council over the phone via a BSL interpreter or onsite, giving them independence to manage their own affairs, an activity we all take for granted.”

“At Sign Solutions we strive to increase accessibility for the Deaf community across the UK and commend North East Derbyshire District Council for taking these vital steps to create equal access for all the community they serve.”

The new BSL video service can be used:

About Sign Solutions Ltd: An award winning, specialist provider of British Sign language and communications services. For over 20 years we have successfully met the challenging needs of private and public sector organisations, enabling them to deliver excellence as standard through our range of high quality services.

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Media enquiries: contact David Vickers (01246) 217613 david.vickers@ne-derbyshire.gov.uk 
or Nicola Smith on (01246) 217019 or nicola.smith@ne-derbyshire.gov.uk