Hearing Link

Video service for deaf claimants extended to all DWP helplines

Deaf claimants and those with hearing loss can now access British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters across all Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) helplines and services.

The Video Relay Service, rolled out for Universal Credit in April, has been extended to all its 62 benefit-related lines and services.

The Video Relay 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 said: “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 from: https://www.signvideo.co.uk/downloads

DWP hope to bring in a similar video service to support lipspeakers in due course. If you require a lipspeaker, or other types of communication support for an appointment, please contact the Department directly >> https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions

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