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Firm uses video relay to communicate with Deaf client

Sign Solutions

Thursday 19 March
Firm uses video relay to communicate with Deaf client

- March 19 at 12:31 PM

Wales-based solicitors, Richards Thomas, has teamed up with video relay service provider, Sign Solutions, to provide interpretation services to one of its Deaf clients.

Adopting the service has enabled the firm to communicate to its Deaf client, who had moved to another part of the UK and, due to legal funding restrictions, was not able to change solicitors.

The IntepretersLive! video relay service works by connecting the Deaf client to a fully qualified interpreter via an online video link, which can be accessed by desktop, tablet or smartphone. The interpreter then relays the conversation between the firm and the Deaf client.

Jemma Collins, office principal at Richards Thomas Solicitors, commented, “We urgently needed to get in touch with our Deaf client prior to his court hearing and the InterpretersLive! service provided an effective and efficient alternative to the time and expense of hiring an interpreter and having a physical meeting.

“The video consultation lasted approximately 45 minutes and was extremely helpful. We anticipate using the service again prior the final hearing.”

Sean Nicholson, CEO at Sign Solutions, said, “Historically, the legal system has neglected Deaf people and legal firms have come under scrutiny for failing to make reasonable adjustments to their services. However, a growing number of firms are recognising the need to improve communication with their Deaf clients and realising that doing so can actually be very easy to implement and extremely cost-effective.

“In the UK today, 1 in 6 people are Deaf or hard of hearing, and British Sign Language is the first language or preferred language of an estimated 110,000 people in the UK. A number of these people will, at some point in their lives, require legal services so it’s vitally important that the resources exist in order to provide this and that we don’t deny Deaf people the access they need.”

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