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BT launches new app to improve inclusion services

Developed following social research

Friday 26 June

June 26 at 11:43

This month celebrates the 60th anniversary of the first ‘in-the-ear’ hearing aid. In June 1955 Karl Dahlberg introduced this innovation – an advancement that changed the lives of those suffering from hearing impairment. Innovations in technology, both mobile and medical, are crucial to improving accessibility and inclusion within our societies.
To ensure that such advancement continue, BT have launched a new app designed to improve inclusion services for mobile phone customers with hearing disabilities.

BT recently carried out research which showed that 65% of deaf people polled state that they have limited their social life because they can’t use their phone to communicate when they’re away from the home/office, and 39% of those who text or email are often frustrated by delayed responses to text messages or emails and 26% are frustrated they can’t just pick up the phone for a quick response. Furthermore, 33% use a standard telephone/mobile but find it difficult to hear the conversation, the sad outcome being that lack of instant communication is leading people in the hearing or speech impaired community to feel isolated.

BT’s Next Generation Text Service is a unique and bespoke service that allows those with hearing issues to partake in telecommunications with the same freedom as anyone else. By utilising the services of a relay assistant, those who are deaf or suffer from hearing issues can communicate freely, breaking down typical barriers of social participation for the deaf.

If on telephone calls you can’t hear the other person’s voice or don’t catch all of what they’re saying, or they can’t understand what you’re saying, the Next Generation Text (NGT) Service can help.

By using a smartphone, tablet, or computer and making a phone call you can type to our relay assistant who will speak your words to the person you’re calling, and the relay assistant will type their reply so you can read it on your display. Whether you use NGT at home, in your office, or on the move you can order takeaways, book taxis, use phone banking, order goods, or just chat by typing and/or reading your phone conversation.

The Next Generation Text Service makes everyday conversations easier by allowing users with a hearing or speech impairment to make faster, more fluent phone calls using ordinary smartphones, tablets, laptops and PCs as well as existing specialised terminals, via a real-time text relay. The service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The free-to-download NGT Lite app allows users to access the service on the move via regular Android and Apple mobile devices, with no need for any additional specialist equipment.
For those who can’t hear on the phone: a relay assistant will type what the other person is saying, so that the user can read their words in real time. For those who can’t speak on the phone: a relay assistant will speak the words the user types, so the other person can hear their words in real time.
NGT was developed by BT but can be accessed via all phone service providers.

You don’t pay any extra for using NGT. Calls are charged at your telecommunications provider’s standard call rates. All NGT Lite calls use both a voice call and an internet connection. The call is charged to the telephone number you’ve made the voice call from so, if you’ve got a package with inclusive calls or a call allowance, relay calls should fall within it.

For more information, visit