Date: 17 May 2019
Belfast has become the first council in Northern Ireland to provide a dedicated sign language service for deaf residents.
The pilot scheme, being introduced at Belfast Zoo and two other Belfast City Council venues, will allow deaf people to independently communicate with hearing people via a British Sign Language interpreter in real time, on a video relay system.
The SignVideo facility will be available at our front desk, allowing the deaf community to easily communicate with our front of house staff, on a video relay system. Sign Video, will help to break down communication barriers and promote inclusion for everyone in the zoo admission process.
Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Deirdre Hargey said: “This is another positive step by Council to ensure we are meeting the needs of all residents, and putting equality at the heart of our customer service.
“Ensuring services are inclusive and accessible for everyone is a key strand of our wider language strategy, and I’m delighted that we are piloting this new initiative. I hope that it proves useful for our deaf community and Council will continue to review how it communicates with residents across the city.”
The initiative has come about as part of Council’s customer focus programme which is aimed at reviewing how residents and users access Council services.
The pilot SignVideo scheme will run for a period of 12 months and Council will monitor uptake and gather feedback during that time.
To find out more, visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/signvideo