Outstanding Achievement – Winner

ad-awardScottish Council on Deafness – SCoD Star Awards 15th November 2016

Sign Language Interactions are delighted to be awarded the SCoD Star award for Outstanding Achievement for contactSCOTLAND-BSL.

The development and success of contactSCOTLAND-BSL is truly a result of vision, innovation and partnership working across the public, third and private sector. Deaf and hearing people living in Scotland can now communicate with each other instantly via an online British Sign Language Interpreter, creating greater access, inclusion and equality.

Equally proud to come runners up in the Digital Innovation category.

Online Interpreter Workshop

We are pleased (but not for all of course!) that our Working as an Online Interpreter Workshop scheduled for Monday 31st October, 2016 is now fully subscribed.

We are now planning additional workshops to take place in the East, North East and Highlands starting early in the new year.

As we know technology is forever advancing as with access to civil and civic society for Deaf BSL users similarly increasing – technology is now playing an important part for accessibility and equality for BSL users – with video interpreting now with us as part of everyday life/living (opposed to being there in the future!) And it aint going away!!!

Press Release- contactSCOTLAND-BSL

National Video Relay Service Awarded

Sign Language Interactions are pleased to announce that they will continue as delivery partner for ‘contactSCOTLAND-BSL’. Scotland’s first national video relay service with Deaf people.

contactSCOTLAND-BSL enables the Scottish Deaf Community/Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users, the means to contact any of the 130+ Scottish public bodies as well as any of the 1,000s of third sector organisations, by accessing an on-line BSL/English interpreter who relays the conversation between the two parties. Providing an equitable service which can be so easily taken for granted by the wider population.

The award of the contract, after an open tender competition, follows a highly successful year-long pilot that was funded and evaluated by the Scottish government. Over 6,000 calls were made by deaf people during the pilot and this number is expected to substantially increase over the next three years.

BSL users can access this unique national service by PCs/Laptops with a webcam and internet connection or, as over 90% of incoming calls do so, by smartphones and tablets. All that is required is having the ‘app’ installed and access to Wi-Fi. The service operates between 8am to 12 midnight, 7 days per week, 365 day per year.

Provision of a video relay service assists public services meet their legal obligations in relation to the Human Rights Act 1998, Equality Act 2010, Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 and British Sign Language (Scotland) Act 2015. Public and Third Sector services will also be able to use contactSCOTLAND-BSL to contact a Deaf BSL user. While the contactSCOTLAND-BSL service will not remove the need for face-to-face interpreting provision, it will increase telephone accessibility between BSL users and public services.

Paul Tipling, BSL user form Greenock commented on the service, “That is really good to know that not only public bodies can be contacted but also charities and voluntary organisations are now included. … I no longer have to rely on someone to telephone for me. Making contact using contactSCOTLAND means I have clear communication in my terms.”

Andrew Dewey, Director – Sign Language Interactions said, “We are particularly pleased to be able to continue delivering this national relay interpreting service which is unique in the UK. Our primary aim is to provide equal access to Scotland’s 1,000s of Deaf BSL users. It’s easy to forget that just making a call to the council, for example, can be challenging if your main and preferred method of communication is sign language. ContactSCOTLAND-BSL bridges and closes that inequality gap.”

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NOTES FOR EDITORS

Sign Language Interactions
Sign Language Interactions is a company that is well established with a proven track record of service delivery within the public, private and voluntary sector. In addition to providing communication support services, we also have experience in working with health boards, local authorities and other organisations to scope out local needs, pilot and deliver services. Sign Language Interactions has grown steadily from its formation. It is now one of the largest providers of language service professionals (LSPs), including sign language interpreters (face to face and on-line), electronic note-takers in the country.

Our mission is:
To facilitate communication between Deaf and hearing people, so that language is no longer a barrier to understanding and opportunities.

Contacts:
Andrew Dewey
Sign Language Interactions
Email: admin@signlanguageinteractions.com
Web: www.signlanguageinteractions.com

The VRS platform used by Sign Language Interactions is called MMX, provided by nWise (Sweden), the leading worldwide provider of telephony/telecommunications specifically for deaf and deafblind people and delivered and maintained by InterpreterNow (Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire UK) who provide service management and technical support.

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Download Press Release here >>> sli-CS-BSL press release <<<

 

 

Press release

Press release 03/03/2016:

CS-logo-mediumcontactSCOTLAND-BSL has a double celebration this month – its first birthday and news that the Scottish government had decided to commission the service for a further three years and include the third sector.

The online Interpreting service, gives deaf people the same access to government services as hearing people, is delivered by a partnership of Sign Language Interactions, based from various locations across Scotland and InterpreterNow from the Deaf Health Charity SignHealth.

interpreter-now-logocontactSCOTLAND-BSL, is funded by the Scottish Government and is managed by Sign Language Interactions, works via technology delivered and supported by InterpreterNow. The service runs on any internet-connected computer with a webcam, using its browser. It also runs on smartphones and tablets, using the free InterpreterNow Apps. Conversations are relayed between deaf users and hearing organisations by fully-qualified interpreters provided by Sign Language Interactions.

Deaf people can use contactScotland to contact around 130 public organisations, from local councils and GP surgeries to the NHS24 and the Police 101 (non-emergency) lines. Thousands of third sector organisations, including over 23,000 charities registered with OSCR, and voluntary groups can now also be contacted.

In just one year, the pioneering national service has transformed the lives of deaf people. Many have reported that the online interpreting service has literally moved them into the 21st century. Under a visionary Scottish Government, deaf people state they now have greater freedom and control over their lives.

Andrew Dewey, Director of Sign Language Interactions and John Maidens Managing Director of InterpreterNow said:

“We are very proud to have been partners in this groundbreaking pilot, which due to its success has now be given ministerial approval to move into full implementation.  The uptake of the service has been really encouraging with calls averaging 100 per week.

We’re delighted that Sign Language Interactions and InterpreterNow have played such a significant part in making vital services as accessible to deaf people as they are to hearing people.”

Service user quote:

Paul Tipling, a contactSCOTLAND user from Greenock, said:

 “Using contactSCOTLAND is brilliant as it provides access for me to use BSL rather than written English.  I am now able to access numerous organisations when I need them and I no longer have to rely on someone to telephone for me.

“I can contact local voluntary groups, local disability organisations  and make arrangements to attend meetings etc.

“Making contact using contactSCOTLAND means I have clear communication on my terms. It’s fantastic.  I am really pleased with the service. Thank you so much. “

 

End.

Contact information: Jennifer Dickson

admin@signlanguageinteractions.com

0141 4190420

www.contactscotland-bsl.org