Hertfordshire County Council launches SignVideo
Hertfordshire County Council has launched a new service to help British Sign Language (BSL) users.
The Video Relay Service enables deaf residents to video call the council via a free link on its website. The video initially connects to a sign language interpreter at SignVideo, who then phones the council’s customer service team and relays the conversation.
“It is very important that we offer all Hertfordshire residents equal access to information and support in line with the Care Act 2014.”
“It’s estimated that around 18,500 deaf/hard of hearing people live in Hertfordshire. SignVideo will enable them to make enquiries about council services in a quick and easy way.”
Sabina Iqbal, team manager for the council’s sensory services, said:
“As a deaf BSL user I know how important it is to connect with the council services easily without barriers and the SignVideo provision is a step in the right direction.”
SignVideo provides British Sign Language (BSL) video interpreting services to enable communication between the community of over 150,000 deaf BSL users in the UK and hearing people. The service allows users to make and receive BSL interpreted video calls so that they can effectively and effortlessly communicate with each other. This happens through a professional video interpreter who relays the call between BSL and English and the service is available instantly on tablets, smartphones, computers and laptops via apps and software.
Born in 2004, SignVideo is led by Jeff McWhinney, a well-known deaf entrepreneur who fights tirelessly for equality of the deaf and hearing community. Today, SignVideo, a predominantly deaf-led organisation, provides their service to the government, NHS, councils, UK banks, telecommunications providers, helplines and many other types of organisations.