How one housing association is communicating online with people who have hearing impairments

  • Housing group Wheatley have developed a new way for people with hearing impairments to communicate online with their landlord without having a friend or family member present. American Sign Language

    Wheatley Group's SignVideo, a British Sign Language interpretation service, has been developed to help tenants with hearing impairments the opportunity to contact their landlord directly without having to ask a friend or family member.

    This will mean that if a tenant with hearing impairments needs to report a repair or other problem they can click the SignVideo link on the website which will take them to a live interpreter. Once the tenant has a conversation with the interpreter, they will then inform Wheatley's Customer Service Centre advisor about the enquiry. Any information will then be passed back to the tenant via sign language, reports 24dash.

    The service is available to tenants of GHA, Cube, Loretto and West Lothian Housing Partnership, which are all members of Wheatley Group.

    Maureen Dowden, Wheatley's community governance and compliance leader, said: "Our new ‘SignVideo' means all our tenants and homeowners have equal access to our services. It also protects the customer's confidentiality because only the CSC advisor has their personal details. We'll still have face-to-face meetings where we'll provide an interpreter, but this extra service will allow deaf tenants to contact us when it suits them."

    Mark Hudson, Managing Director of SignVideo, said: "We are proud to work in partnership with Wheatley Group to enable people to reach their full potential. Wheatley is at the forefront of making sure their services are accessible to existing and prospective deaf tenants. We look forward to a long friendship."

    Do you think your housing association could develop a similar service to support people with hearing impairments?

    What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions

    This blog post has been written by our sister company The Media Bubble who specialise in social media for the social sector.

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