We have partnered with interpreting service, SignLive, to give customers the option to have their conversations translated into British Sign Language (BSL) for free.
This collaboration will ensure that customers who are hard of hearing or have speech impairments can connect with our customer service team for support via a qualified BSL interpreter.
Using a Video Relay Service (VRS), BSL users can make video calls via their tablet, smartphone, computer or laptop and a professional BSL interpreter will provide two-way translation to a member of the customer service team, with text option also available on the video call.
Our new partnership with SignLive comes as recent findings revealed that there are 11 million people who are deaf or hard of hearing and over 150,000 BSL users in the UK. This initiative will make the process of calling the customer service team easier and more interactive for many of those people.
The SignLive service will remove barriers to communication for customers, making services such as our Priority Services Register (PSR) more accessible than ever before.
The PSR offers a wide range of support for customers who have special communication needs, are over the age of 60, have children under the age of 5, have a chronic illness or mobility issues. This includes proactive engagement if there’s a known power outage in the local area and providing access to a dedicated welfare number during periods of storms.
The introduction of the SignLive service will ensure BSL users are able to access support they are entitled to with ease, something which is particularly crucial during the winter months.
Kendal Morris, Customer Service Director at SP Energy Networks said: “We are committed to making our services accessible to everyone and our partnership with SignLive marks a significant step forward towards this.
“SignLive has created an amazing solution for our customers who use British Sign Language or are hard of hearing, allowing them to engage in direct conversations with our team without relying on friends or family members.
“Customers can now get in contact in a way that is easy and convenient for them and be reassured they are supported in the event of a power cut.”
SignLive, founded in 2014 by Joel Kellhofer, has consistently aimed to eliminate communication barriers and enhance the quality of life for the deaf community through the highest quality interpreting services and technology.
Fiona Mackay, Chief Operating Officer at SignLive said: “We’re so pleased to be working with SP Energy Networks and commend them for becoming more accessible to Deaf customers. This partnership will make communication simpler and easier for BSL users giving customers a way to get in touch at the tap of a button.”