It means deaf tenants can contact their landlord directly without having to get a friend or family member to do it for them.
If a deaf tenant needs to report a repair, for example, he or she clicks the SignVideo BSL Live link on the relevant website which connects them to a live video interpreter, who relays the call between the deaf tenant and Wheatley’s Customer Service Centre (CSC) advisor.
Wheatley is the first housing organisation to provide the service.
It’s just one initiative from the deaf forum Wheatley set up last year in partnership with the British Deaf Association.
Maureen Dowden, Wheatley’s Community Governance and Compliance Leader, said: “Our new SignVideo BSL Live service means all our tenants and homeowners have equal access to our services. It also protects the customer’s confidentiality because only the CSC advisor has their personal details. We’ll still have face-to-face meetings where we’ll provide an interpreter, but this extra service will allow deaf tenants and homeowners to contact us when it suits them.”
Mark Hudson, Managing Director of SignVideo said: “As the UK’s number one British Sign Language (BSL) video interpreting provider we are both proud and excited to work in partnership with Scotland’s leading housing, care and community regeneration group. We share the same mission of enabling people to reach their full potential. With the proposed BSL Bill making good progress in the Scottish Parliament, Wheatley Group are at the forefront of making sure that their services are accessible to existing and prospective Deaf tenants. We are truly excited about this milestone and look forward to a long friendship with Wheatley Group.”
The service is available Monday to Friday, from 8am till 6pm.
The SignVideo link is on the ‘Contact Us’ page of all Wheatley Group partner organisations’ websites.
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. SignVideo demolishes existing barriers facing service providers, businesses, work colleagues and family wanting to hold conversations with deaf BSL-using people. In addition, SignVideo has reduced the previous waiting time of up to six weeks for a BSL interpreter to be available, down to less than 30 seconds.
SignVideo not only pioneered this revolutionary communications solution in the UK but now leads the way in bringing access and inclusion via ‘Video Based Interpreting’ to the BSL community. With a strong presence in the VRS (Video Relay Services) market in the UK, SignVideo is a highly reputable provider with its video call centres and remote interpreters conducting over 20,000 BSL interpreted video calls a year. SignVideo underpins its service with experienced, fully qualified and registered BSL interpreters, Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and ISO 9001, 14001 and 27001 quality certifications.
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.
Notes to editors:
- Read more and connect with us on social media at www.signvideo.co.uk.
- Jeff McWhinney is available for comment and interview on request through the press office.
- Press office contact:Karan Hopper, Head of Marketing
+44 (0) 208 4631137