Ombudsman Services teams up with Sign Solutions

by Communications Team | Jul 07, 2014

Ombudsman Services teams up with Sign Solutions to provide the online BSL service InterpretersLive!

Ombudsman Services and Sign Solutions announced today that Ombudsman Services has introduced an interpretation service that enables people who are deaf to communicate with the Ombudsman Services complaint handling team using British Sign Language (BSL) via video relay.

Ombudsman Services wants to ensure that everyone has access to redress.

Chief Ombudsman, Lewis Shand Smith says: “We are delighted to be offering a new service that means people who are deaf and hard of hearing have greater choice in how they contact Ombudsman Services. When things go wrong it is important that consumers know where to turn and have access to help to get their problem sorted out.

“We already provide translation services to make sure that people can contact us in their own language and are pleased to now extend this same level of service to BSL users.”

Sean Nicholson CEO of Sign Solutions said: “I am delighted to welcome Ombudsman Services to our on demand InterpretersLive! service. This is an exciting time for the deaf community, who are now able to communicate directly and immediately with the ombudsman and not have to rely on other people or try to communicate in a language that is not their first.”

Consumers can access the new BSL service via a link on the ‘contact us’ page of the Ombudsman Services website. They will be connected to the Sign Solutions interpreter who will relay the call directly with to Ombudsman Services. Consumers will need to have a computer with a webcam and a broadband connection. The service will be available to consumers free of charge. The service will be available Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm.

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Notes to editors

  • British Sign Language is the first language of 130,000 Deaf people - source Sign Solutions.
  • Ombudsman Services is a not for profit, private company limited by guarantee. 
  • Ombudsman Services runs national, private sector ombudsman schemes which provide independent dispute resolution for the communications, energy, property, copyright licensing sectors, the Green Deal, Which? Trusted Traders, and the ABFA.
  • Ombudsman Services provides an expert dispute resolution service. The service focuses on encouraging early agreed resolution wherever possible and does not charge a fee so it’s able to offer access to redress for consumers to resolve their complaints without proceeding to the civil courts.
  • In 2012 Ombudsman Services won the bid to provide the ombudsman and investigation service for the government’s Green Deal initiative.
  • Ombudsman Services is a full member of the Ombudsman Association (OA) and adheres to its principles