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Emergency 999 service for deaf BSL users launched


By John Davidson

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The new app will allow deaf BSL users to communicate with emergency services in their first language.
The new app will allow deaf BSL users to communicate with emergency services in their first language.

A new app has been launched that allows British Sign Language users to contact emergency services via a video relay service.

The 999 BSL UK emergency video relay service for deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users was launched on Friday.

The service gives deaf BSL users the option of calling the emergency services using BSL, via the 999 BSL website and app.

Susan Daniels OBE, chief executive of the National Deaf Children’s Society, said: “Calling for help quickly is vital in an emergency and no one should ever have to worry about communication when they do so. 999 BSL should remove these barriers, so we strongly welcome its launch.

“It’s now crucial that the developers do everything they can to make sure that every BSL user in the country knows it exists.

“We’d urge every deaf child and young person who uses BSL to download the app without delay. Having the option to get help so quickly, in their first language, could one day prove to be a life-saver.”

More details and links to download the app, which is available for Android and iOS devices, are available at https://999bsl.co.uk, where an emergency call can also be made via the website.


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