British Sign Language users and Government Services

18 January 2016

A groundbreaking new system to ensure British Sign Language (BSL) users can easily access government services is now in operation at the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

The video relay service (VRS) allows users to make BSL interpreted video calls via their tablet, smartphone, computer or laptop. A professional interpreter then relays the call in English to a member of DWP staff.

The introduction of VRS is the latest demonstration of the department’s commitment to making services accessible for people regardless of their disability. The Minister for Disabled People has made accessibility across all sectors of the UK a priority for 2016, aiming to build on successes such as football’s Premier League agreeing to make significant improvements to their grounds by August 2017.