British Sign Language interpreters are now available across all DWP benefit-related services, utilising a Video Relay Service.
Deaf claimants and people with hearing loss can now access BSL interpreters across all Department of Work and Penions (DWP) helplines and services.
The Video Relay Service was first rolled out for Universal Credit in April, but due to the success of the service and increased demand, it has now been extended to all 62 benefit-related lines and services.
The service allows users to make BSL interpreted video calls via their tablet, smartphone, computer or laptop. A professional interpreter then relays the call in English to a member of DWP staff.
Since the extension of the Video Relay Service to all DWP helplines, there has been a 43% increase in uptake, while a recent customer survey showed respondents were ‘very satisfied’ with the overall service.
Minister for Disabled People Justin Tomlinson says: “This is another vital step on our mission to increase inclusion and accessibility across government.
“We already know it works and that it’s had a life-changing impact for many people so it’s only right we offer this service as widely as we can.”
The Video Relay Service app and an introductory video are available to view here.
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