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‘Deaf Access to Communications’ Category

17 JunNew video launched to raise awareness of NGT

A short video called ‘Introducing Next Generation Text’ has been created with the support of the National Deaf Children’s Society and is being widely promoted amongst the younger Deaf Communities to help them find out more about the Next Generation Text (NGT) service. It highlights the benefits of NGT and demonstrates how relevant and easy the Service is to use – click here to take a look at the video.

17 JunSurvey on how you use the telephone

UKCoD through its subgroup DAC (Deaf Access to Communications) and alongside its member organizations is carrying out a survey to assess how deaf people are using the telephone.  In particular we are interested in how deaf consumers are getting on with the Next Generation Text Relay service which was launched in October 2014 or if not, what help or alternatives could be considered.

The survey originated from NADP (the National Association of Deafened People) whose membership is a subgroup of the deaf population and it has therefore been expanded to include all types of deafness, with input from Sense, NDCS, Action on Hearing Loss, Hearing Link along with Ofcom and BT.

The survey is only available online using the link  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/usingthephone

We really need as many deaf people as possible to complete the survey to help provide evidence of whether or not further improvements need to be made to telecommunication services for deaf people, how successful NGTS has been and if there are any particular areas of the deaf population which are or are not making use of these services. Please spread the word.

Unfortunately we do not have the resources to provide paper copies of the survey. However if you do know deaf people who are not online but do use the telephone or would if the appropriate service was available then please feel free to complete the survey on their behalf either directly or offering a print out of the survey for them to complete.

The deadline for completing the survey is 30 June 2016.

Thank you in anticipation of your help.

11 MayNGTS – word of thanks

Great to receive thanks from Brendan Casey yesterday on the Deaf Next Generation Text Service Group Facebook page……..

“Would like to say a special big thank you to Ofcom and BT and http://www.deafcouncil.org.uk/ and Natalya Dell and Mike Aston and Helen Oxlade and Donna Lordan and many others and of course the community members who fought for BSL videos to be displayed professionally via online petitions on Ngts website big thank you and of course the company behind the professional bsl video service who provided the videos”.

 

04 MarcontactScotland video relay service extended to third sector

contactScotland, the service that provides access to public services in British Sign Language (BSL), has been extended. BSL users will now be able to contact community groups, voluntary organisations, charities, social enterprises and co-operatives in their own language.

Jim Edwards, chair of the UK Council on Deafness, said: “The UK Council on Deafness applauds the Scottish Government’s commitment to making sure services are available to BSL users in their own language.

“In 2016, there is no reason why Deaf people shouldn’t be able to make a telephone call to all public, private and not-for-profit organisations. We hope government in the rest of the UK takes notice of this development and makes a similar investment.”

contactScotland  is unique in the UK and is the first nationally funded public sector Video Relay Service (VRS). It was initially piloted by NHS 24, before expanding to cover the rest of the public sector in Scotland in March 2015.

The pilot will end when the current contract expires in September 2016. At that point the service will be fully implemented. A procurement exercise to secure a new Scottish Government contract is underway and an Invitation to Tender will be issued shortly via the Public Contracts Scotland website.

 

15 JanDWP trials access by telephone for sign language users

People who use British Sign Language (BSL) can now contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) via telephone.

DWP has begun a six month pilot of a service that allows people whose first or only language is BSL to contact DWP about Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance (65+), Disability Living Allowance (under 65) and Access to Work. Following the pilot the Department intends to provide the service via the Crown Commercial Service framework agreement for language services.

The video relay service (VRS), provided by SignVideo, connects the deaf person to a sign language interpreter via a camera on a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. The hearing person at DWP will be connected to the interpreter via a telephone.

The service will be open to everyone during normal working hours. All someone has to do is click on the hyperlink on the relevant web page and they will be connected.

Jim Edwards, chair of the UK Council on Deafness, said: “The UK Council on Deafness is delighted DWP has taken this step to open up access for deaf people who use BSL. We trust the pilot will be successful and look forward to more government services becoming accessible, as they are in Scotland.

“We are also glad the Department has commissioned one of the companies that has voluntarily agreed to our standards for VRS. It means deaf people can be assured the interpreter will be registered with NRCPD or a member of SASLI, which means they will be properly qualified and follow a code of conduct.”