by John Maidens, Managing Director of InterpreterNOW
These are exciting times.
The launch of contactSCOTLAND today (Monday, 2 March 2015) is the start of the first real phone system for Deaf people.
And we’re hoping to make lots more exciting announcements like this in the next few months.
The combination of powerful new smartphones and tablets, with fast broadband internet available almost everywhere, has opened up a whole new world of communication for Deaf people.
We’ve been carrying phones around for years, but we’ve been using them as texting devices. Now we will be able to use them to make contact with Scottish government organisations whenever we need to, just like hearing people do. Suddenly we’re getting access to organisations and services in a way that’s just like hearing people use the phone, but we get to do that in BSL.
I’m so excited and proud of what InterpreterNow is doing for Deaf people.
We’re making it easy for hearing people to contact us and communicate with us too. And that has got to be a good thing.
Now a hearing person can pick up any ordinary phone and call any Deaf person, just like they would contact a hearing person. And all we need to do to make that possible is download the app, register and leave the app running in the background on their smartphone or tablet..
The app is free, and the calls you make to organisations which are signed up, like contactSCOTLAND, are free to you too.
Download the app
When you register the app you will get a free i-now name, and that’s all people need to contact you. Using that name other Deaf people can make a free sign language call to you too.
If you can’t answer the interpreter who is signing for the hearing person, or you Deaf friend who has called you, can leave a BSL video message. You will get it next time you open the app.
It gets better and better.