British Gas Launches Free Sign Language Service

For immediate release: 30th March 2017

  • Energy company teams up with SignVideo to improve access for deaf and hearing impaired customers
  • Service will provide free and instant online sign language interpretation

British Gas, the country’s largest energy supplier, is now offering live, online British Sign Language (BSL) interpretation to its customers.

Teaming up with SignVideo, British Gas launched the free service this month which will allow sign language users to access the company’s full range of customer services.

The service is accessed via a video web link that connects to a BSL interpreter who connects the call to a British Gas agent, and interprets for the customer throughout the call.  The service is accessible on PCs, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Steve Crabb, Director of Consumer Vulnerability at British Gas, said:

“This service will make a real difference to our deaf and hearing impaired customers who use sign language. We want our full range of customer services to be as accessible as possible for everyone, and this new service really helps us to achieve this.”

There are currently 150,000 BSL users in the UK, and around 11 million people living with deafness and hearing loss.

Jeff McWhinney, Chairman and Founder of SignVideo says:

“It’s fantastic to see a leading utility company like British Gas striving to provide equal access to their customer services for deaf BSL users. As a deaf BSL user myself, I know that the BSL community will be thrilled that they can now talk to British Gas in our own language, BSL, and I truly hope other energy providers will follow their great example and open up their services to their deaf BSL customers.”

Customers can access the service at  https://www.britishgas.co.uk/accessibility.html

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.

Read more and connect with us on social media at www.signvideo.co.uk.

About British Gas

British Gas is Britain’s leading supplier of energy, delivering to more than 10 million homes in Britain, and more than 400,000 businesses. We offer the highest quality services to both UK homes and businesses, provided by more than 8,000 highly-trained engineers. We also provide a range of innovative products and services including smart meters, connected home products by Hive™, and the on-demand, online tradesman service, Local Heroes.