There has been progress in the campaign to provide the BSL 999 service, which aims to provide BSL users with equal access to emergency services like fire, police, ambulance.
Ofcom, the telecoms regulator, opened applications to find a service provider for the emergency video relay service (VRS). Lots of different VRS companies applied, explaining why they should be chosen and how they met the ‘approved criteria’ that Ofcom has set up.
After reviewing all the applications, Ofcom are suggesting that ‘Sign Language Interactions’, the company that owns SignVideo and InterpreterNow, becomes the emergency VRS provider, as they were able to show they have met all the approved criteria.
This is not confirmed and could change.
Ofcom is now holding a new consultation. They want to know your feedback about Ofcom using ‘Sign Language Interactions’ as the chosen emergency VRS provider. If you agree or disagree, let Ofcom know by filling in a form. You must use their approved criteria to explain your feedback. The details are in the consultation. You can also respond in BSL and send the video to emergencyBSL@ofcom.org.uk.
The deadline for feedback is the 17th of December 2021. Ofcom’s final decision about using ‘Sign Language Interaction’ will be published in January.