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Posts Tagged ‘VRS’

12 DecTechnology and the Workplace

UKCoD Conference

This year’s conference was themed ‘Technology and the Workplace – fact vs fiction’ and was very kindly hosted by BT at their iconic building, BT Tower for which we are extremely grateful.

 

The conference was well supported with our thanks to sponsors InterpreterNow, SignLive and RedBee Media together with exhibitors ATLA, SignVideo, Terra Consultancy, BIVR & AVSTTR and The Association of Lipspeakers.

With excellent speakers within programme, many from far afield, it gave the audience the opportunity to listen to interesting topics and gather information and the opportunity to ask questions during the panel sessions.

Our Chair, Craig Crowley MBE, summarised the day saying that we faced a ‘brave new world’, with speakers talking of the future and technology, its impacts and how artificial intelligence may will embed itself as part of our being.

The day set off to a brilliant start.  We learn’t of the importance of DAC, ensuring that the quality of standards are in place, a summary of AI and the use of AI to deaf people giving the pro’s and con’s and in hearing technology.  We heard of the recent developments in STTR and how technology is improving outputs and how the National Theatre seek to make theatre accessible, with new technology being developed using smart glasses to access live subtitles at National Theatre performances, enabling them to view captions from any seat.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Chair of the APPG on Deafness stated the importance of our MPs receiving details of the ongoing issues and encouraged us all to contact our MPs and keep pressing for them to join the APPG on Deafness.

The active and positive research and future improvements involving apps, smartphones and programming hope to make the future more positive and an interesting one.

Lilian Greenwood MP spoke powerfully of the importance of our continuing to campaign ‘to keep the foot on the lobbying pedal’ and chaired the first panel session which provided interesting discussions to take place.

The afternoon focused on the ‘Work place’.   Our Employment Group Chair, Darren Townsend-Handscomb set the afternoon scene, updating the audience on the group’s activities and areas around Access to Work.  We heard about the impacts and limitations with views from all sides from equality through to an independent assessors point of view.  We were updated on the types of support for employees and the possible changes within the workplace.  RedBee Media gave examples of how they are utilising their current members of staff and how the disability passport can break down barriers and lastly learn’t about innovative projects for new technological opportunities.

The day concluded with another interesting panel discussion, set by the excellent speakers throughout the afternoon.

Angela Matthews, Head and Policy and Advice, Business Disability Forum said ‘the range of speakers was excellent – to have Government, Third Sector, Audiologists, Academics, Committee Members and Assessors all on the platform is rarely done enough in our sector and made the debates all the more stronger and informed’.

Summary: Keep progressing, researching, raising awareness, developing & improving improving and achieving!

Thank you to all who were involved.

28 NovURGENT – Send your view on TEXT or BSL Relays to your MP now!

With the debate at Westminster Hall this coming Thursday, 30th November, UKCoD have created the following suggested Email Templates for TEXT or BSL Relay users to send to your MP via email –  click on the template links below.

 

 

On the link below you will find instructions on how to send to your MP:-

Send your view on TEXT or BSL Relays to your MP (pdf)

If you have any questions, or need any help please contact UK Council on Deafness at info@deafcouncil.org.uk

Thank you for supporting our campaign to provide and improve a range of relay services for all those with a hearing loss.

 

10 JanPositive Meeting with Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, DCMS

 

minister

Craig Crowley, Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, Jim Edwards

The Chair of UKCoD, Craig Crowley together with his advisor, Jim Edwards today met with the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP for a positive meeting on VRS provision in the UK.

Purpose:
To ask the Minister to support a government wide approach to purchasing VRS and to support a further review by Ofcom of the voluntary/market model. A briefing on this was sent prior to the meeting (attached)

Discussion:
Matt Hancock whilst at Cabinet Office led on the Crown Commercial Services Framework Agreement and he was keen to see a government wide approach that, ensured universal access to services that built on and exploited developing technologies and brought some economies of scale to the purchasing arrangements. He has positive reports on the DWP Pilots and wants to see this initiative built on by all government departments. The minister acknowledged that the current model is making progress and that the understanding of costs of the service are based on outdated estimates of service cost, hence the need for a review of the market model, though he would want to be clear what would be the outcome of a review and is keen on progressing provision.

Outcome:
The Minister agreed to contact his successor at the Cabinet Office Ben Gummer about building on the DWP pilots of VRS and the Crown Commercial Services Framework agreement with  a government wide initiative to purchase VRS in a similar model to ‘contact Scotland’. He will also keep the Penny Mordaunt ( Minister for Disabled People) informed of the discussions and developments.

The Minister will talk with Ofcom about a further review of the evidence of the market developments.

Follow up letter to the Minister to be drafted.

[End]

 

22 AugVideo Relay Service

Today, Santander Consumer Finance (SCF), in partnership with SignVideo, has launched a Video Relay Service (VRS), for the British Sign Language (BSL) community.

The service is available for all account servicing, supporting customers with many of their day to day account queries and transactions. The service enables deaf BSL-using customers to place video calls to SCF via a free and secure video link on its website. The video call instantly connects to a BSL interpreter at SignVideo, who then phones the SCF contact centre relaying the conversation in real time.

Read the full Press Release

To view the list of Organisations/Companies offering VRS, please visit our website at http://deafcouncil.org.uk/deaf-access-to-communications/video-relay-directory/