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20 AugDWP enters legal agreement to improve services for deaf customers

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has entered a legally binding agreement with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) to improve support for deaf customers accessing its services by telephone.

Two advisers raised a complaint with the EHRC on behalf of four hearing-impaired people who needed to use the telephone service with a British Sign Language interpreter to help them decide whether or not to apply for a home loan.

All four disabled people faced difficulties in dealing with staff from DWP and Serco who didn’t know how to arrange the interpreting service. One out of the four managed to book an interpreter, but only after three months of difficulty.

In its agreement with the EHRC, the DWP has committed to an action plan to address the problems these complaints identified.

The action plan commits DWP to:

  • Provide a Video Relay Service (VRS) across telephony services for all benefits and services. VRS enables deaf users to contact DWP via video relay using an interpreter;
  • Ensure customers can easily locate what they need in order to request information in alternative accessible formats;
  • Improve their customer information system so disabled people’s communication needs are recorded and shared;
  • Improve the use of Equality Analysis in the design and delivery of all changes.

The EHRC will monitor DWP’s action plan on a monthly basis to ensure the agreed steps have been completed.

Full story here.

17 AugCalling all who have used Relay UK in the last year

Watermelon Research are looking for participants in a survey about the Relay UK service, which you might also have known as NGT or Text Relay.

The survey is being conducted on behalf of BT, to understand what you think of the service. Previously this survey has helped us make significant improvements to Relay UK, including the launch of a new and easier to use mobile app.

To say thank you for taking part, on completion of the main survey Watermelon will send you a £10 Amazon voucher. More information about how to qualify for the voucher can be found here.

If you’d like to sign up to take part please click here: https://watermelonsurveys.com/wix/p802284325100.aspx

 

30 JulContact PDSA with SignLive

Great news! You can use the SignLive app to contact PDSA, the UK’s leading veterinary charity.

PDSA operate a network of 48 Pet Hospitals throughout the UK, all of which can be contacted directly from the SignLive Community Directory.

British Sign Language (BSL) users who call will be connected to a qualified BSL interpreter who will relay your call.

PDSA clients can download the app and call to arrange an appointment. If you are not currently a PDSA client, and are looking for help with vet bills, please visit www.pdsa.org.uk/eligibility to see if you meet the criteria to get assistance from the charity. Alternatively, download the SignLive app and call to speak to the Client Care Team for advice.

 

BSL Service for contacting vet charity PDSA from SignLive on Vimeo.

20 JulMaking on-demand services accessible – Second consultation

Ofcom is carrying out a second consultation (PDF, 1023.9 KB) on how on-demand services should be made accessible, to help us to make recommendations to Government.  The videos below give a summary of their proposals on areas where they particularly want to hear from sign-language users.

Video Links:

Consultation 

BSL summary videos

How to respond

To respond in BSL:

  • send Ofcom a video of you signing your response (up to five minutes); or
  • upload a video of you signing your response to YouTube (or another video hosting platform) and send them the link.

The email address is vodaccessibility@ofcom.org.uk.

The closing date for responses is 16 September 2020.

Full details on their website here.

16 JulWorking and participating remotely when you are deaf or hard of hearing

nadp

At the start of COVID pandemic, NADP has recognized a gap in ICT knowledge of online participation platforms among many people in deaf and hard of hearing communities. With the whole world suddenly moving to working and meeting virtually, the need to close this gap was greater than ever. On 20 June 2020 NADP has taken proactive step and organized an online workshop with a topic of working and participating in online meetings. The workshop was aimed at deaf and hard of hearing people who may not have necessary knowledge on online meetings, and this may in turn hold them back from signing up to participate in various webinars.

The format of the workshop ( Zoom meetings) allowed for interactive participation and everyone had the opportunity to ask questions.  Following feedback received, the workshop achieved its aim to close the knowledge gap and empower empowered deaf people to advocate for themselves.  If you would like to find information about next workshop, please contact us by sending email to events@nadp.org.uk

Working and Participating Remotely Factsheet [pdf]