The use of Video Relay Service (VRS) is on the increase as the result of Sky’s decision to launch a trial service in their Accessible Customer Services team.
Sky is working in partnership with Sign Video to provide the service, which aims to improve the accessibility of their customer support for Deaf customers.
VRS is an important service for Deaf people, It works by allowing a British Sign Language (BSL) user to make live video contact via a BSL/English interpreter. It enables them to fully express themselves in their native language using gesture and facial expression for added meaning. Sky’s trial run means that their Deaf customers will be able to contact their Accessible Customer Services team. The trial starts this week and runs until 1 January 2014, it runs from 8am-6pm Monday to Friday and is a free to use service.
This development comes after a flurry of private sector organisations have started to introduce the service including Lloyds Banking Group, BT, Halifax and Royal Bank of Scotland.
Commenting on Sky’s decision to trial VRS Signature chief executive, Jim Edwards, said, “I am pleased that Sky has introduced a trial of VRS and hope it will become a permanent feature enabling Deaf people to access their customer services team. It is vital that everyday services like those offered by Sky are accessible to them in a fair and equal way.
I hope that Sky’s trial will persuade other telecommunications companies to introduce VRS and would encourage members of the Deaf community to take advantage of the trial and demonstrate its value.”