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Archive for March, 2020

25 MarAccess to Relay UK for regular calls

Ofcom is working closely with the UK’s telecoms providers (in particular with BT) to make sure all consumers have access to essential communications services during the current situation.

BT is maintaining the Relay UK services and is making sure its staff are able to deal with calls to its 18000 service (the equivalent of 999).

Customers have noticed recently that they have to wait longer than usual to access the service.  This is due to more calls and way calls are answered and handled.

BT has introduced a range of measures to help Relay UK manage better with more calls.

BT is:

  • Reallocating staff from other duties to relay calls
  • Recruiting and training additional staff
  • Looking at options to reduce hang-ups while callers/called parties are waiting for the relay assistant to be joined to the call

Text relay calls are currently handled in a number of locations across the UK.  BT may open an additional call centre if this is necessary, and this is being considered.

BT are looking in to prioritising relay calls to NHS 111 so people with health needs will be handled first.

It is useful to remember that NHS 111 is now accessible 24 hours a day in British Sign Language.  Relay UK users who are BSL users also have this option: https://interpreternow.co.uk/nhs111.

23 MarCoronavirus Daily Updates

Coronavirus Daily Updates from the Prime Minister will include the provision of an interpreter on BBC 107 or 231.

SignHealth are providing updates in BSL and can be viewed on their website at here.

 

Coronavirus update – 22nd March 2020 from Deaf Health Charity SignHealth on Vimeo.

18 MarBBC – Government briefings in BSL on Coronavirus

The BBC have announced that they will be providing Sign Language Interpretation on all weekday Coronavirus government briefings and that the BBC is doing everything it can to ensure these important briefings are accessible.

Please note:  Due to limited resources there will be some changes to live signing on the BBC News from Monday 23rd March as follows:

On weekday mornings there will be signing from:-

07:45 – 08:15

13:00 – 13:30

News will be signed each weekday as normal as will the 07:00 – 07:30 slots on weekends.

The situation is quickly developing and the BBC will keep you informed of any further changes to their  sign language coverage.

We would be grateful if you could share these changes with your networks.

05 MarConsultation – BSL access 999 emergency

cover photo, Image may contain: outdoor

Ofcom’s consultation on introducing an emergency 999 video relay service, has now closed.  We hope to see Ofcom’s reaction to the consultation in June 2020.

Ofcom have said that if they decide to introduce 999 VRS, it will probably take a year to set it up.  We have encouraged Ofcom to make this process as quick as possible and to ensure that the Deaf community is involved and informed on the work they are doing.  We will continue to make this point to Ofcom and share any information we can with this group as we get it.

Thank you to all of you for sharing your experiences, and over 800 people who signed the petition run by Action on Hearing Loss.