19/09/2019

NI Council Introduces Digital Sign Language System

Communication will hopefully become a little easier for deaf residents and visitors to the North Coast, thanks to a new digital sign language system.

The scheme is currently being piloted at offices in Ballycastle, Ballymoney, Coleraine and Limavady in a bid to allow deaf people to independently communicate via a British Sign Language interpreter in real time on a video relay system.

Leading the way with the new initiative, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is hoping to improve the eqality and ease with which deaf people communicate across their services.

Working closely with SignVideo, Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users living or visiting the area can use the Video Relay Interpreting Service (VRS). This allows them to video call free of charge via a link on the council website, connecting them with a BSL interpreter who relays the conversation in real time.

The facility is also available remotely in the form of Video Remote Interpreting (VRI). This means that deaf people can have a face-to-face conversation with a hearing person, such as a council officer, relayed by a BSL interpreter.

A number of BSL videos have also been produced with Deafblind UK to make it easier for deaf people to access services online. These provide guidance and support to those who want to use council services such as bin collections, recycling, leisure services and events.

Welcoming the initiative, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council Councillor Sean Bateson said: "We're delighted to be working with SignVideo to offer this invaluable interpreting service. Ultimately we want to make communication easy for everyone and this is certainly a very positive step in ensuring we achieve this. It places equality at the centre of customer services for residents and visitors alike."

The pilot will run for 12 months, during which the council will monitor uptake and gather feedback.

Click here for further information and to begin using the service.



(JG/MH)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

08 February 2024
'Major Concerns' Young People Being Priced Out Of Education
The Alliance Party has raises "major concerns" that young people are being priced out of access to Higher and Further Education, following the release of NUS-USI's Cost of Living Survey.
28 February 2024
New Fitness Campaign To Support People With Learning Disabilities
A new campaign to raise awareness of the benefits of physical activity and support people with learning disabilities has been launched by Mencap NI and Oscar Winning Ambassador Dr James Martin MBE in partnership with Better.
27 February 2024
People Urged To 'Remain Vigilant' Following Dungiven Security Alert
The PSNI have urged residents and visitors in the Dungiven area to "remain vigilant" following a major security alert in the town and claims of a second device having been left in the area.
21 May 2024
NI To Be Included In UK Tobacco And Vapes Bill
Health Minister, Robin Swann, has welcomed that Northern Ireland has been included in the UK Tobacco and Vapes Bill, following the passing of a new motion.
15 March 2024
People Urged To 'Protect Their Vision'
The Public Health Agency (PHA) has urged people to take steps to protect their vision, with more than half of sight loss being preventable. Marking Save Your Vision Month [March], Dr Jackie McCall, Consultant in Public Health at the PHA, said: "Looking after your eyes at all stages of life is extremely important.