Last year, UK communications regulator Ofcom said
fixed-line and mobile communications providers would soon need to introduce a British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service for emergency calls, similar to the current 999 voice service.
A deaf BSL user would make a video call via an interpreter in a call centre. The interpreter translates what the deaf user is signing into spoken English for a hearing person to hear and, conversely, signs what the hearing person is saying to the deaf user. This emergency video relay will be available via a
website and apps for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Glasgow-based Sign Language Interactions
(SLI) has now been approved by Ofcom to provide the BSL emergency video relay service, which will be in place for 17th June 2022. It plans to work with BT to ensure the service is available as a wholesale option to communications providers.