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SignVideo by Sorenson Launches Partnership with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Services, Enabling First Emergency Service of Its Kind to Be Fully Accessible to the Deaf

SignVideo by Sorenson Launches Partnership with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Services, Enabling First Emergency Service of Its Kind to Be Fully Accessible to the Deaf

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Sorenson, the leading language services provider of inclusive communication services for Deaf, hard-of-hearing, and diverse people, today announced a partnership with Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Services (LFRS) in the U.K. through SignVideo by Sorenson to make emergency services fully accessible to people who are Deaf.

“We are extremely proud to be one of the first Fire and Rescue Services to be able to fully reach our Deaf communities,” said Chief Fire and Rescue Officer, Callum Faint, in an April 28, 2023 news release published on the LFRS website. “It is so important to us that we make our services as accessible to as many people as possible.”

The partnership provides LFRS with access to the SignVideo by Sorenson service, which offers live, on-demand British Sign Language (BSL) Video Remote Interpreting, Video Relay Services, and BSL/English Translation Services. This allows people who are Deaf to communicate with LFRS staff in their preferred language – sign language, regardless of their location.

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“I have used SignVideo by Sorenson twice in the last few months and on both occasions found the service very good,” said Kevin Hubbard, a community educator for LFRS. Hubbard’s team helps prevent emergencies by educating the community in fire safety. “On both occasions my calls were answered very promptly, with the interpreter showing time and patience to ensure the questions I was asking, and the information I needed to relay to the customer was understood and retained.”

In July 2022, significant advancements were made in enhancing accessibility for emergency services with the introduction of 999 BSL. This pivotal development enables individuals who are Deaf to place emergency calls to the 999 service through the assistance of a Sorenson interpreter. However, the LFRS recognized a challenge in effectively communicating with Deaf individuals during emergency responses. As a proactive measure, the LFRS has successfully integrated iPads® equipped with the SignVideo by Sorenson app across all their fire equipment.

This innovative solution empowers emergency personnel to seamlessly connect with individuals who are Deaf with the assistance of a Sorenson interpreter, ensuring effective communication in critical situations.

“Sorenson is proud to partner with Leicestershire Fire & Rescue Services to make their service fully accessible to people who are Deaf,” said Jorge Rodriguez, CEO of Sorenson. “We are committed to bridging communication gaps across the world to ensure everyone has equal access to essential emergency services. This partnership is a significant milestone in our mission to connect people beyond words, and we are proud to support LFRS in ensuring the safety of the Deaf community that they serve.”

Sorenson’s mission is to “harness the power of language to connect diverse people and enrich the human experience.” As one of the world’s leading language services providers and the world’s leading provider of communication tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing people, Sorenson combines patented technology with human-centric services to connect signed and spoken languages: captioning and video relay services, over-video and in-person sign language and spoken language interpreting, real-time event captioning services, and post-production language services.

“We had a works meeting booked with a Deaf person that uses BSL and an interpreter. Unfortunately, the interpreter fell ill at the last minute. Instead of re-scheduling the meeting, we gave SignVideo a try,” said Emma Parrett, a community educator for LFRS. “It was perfect. Logging in was easy, and the interpreter was excellent. This saved us re-scheduling the meeting. We will definitely use it again”.

Source: GlobeNewswire


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