Sign language scheme is first of its kind

An innovative new service that will make it easier for deaf people to access City of Edinburgh Council services has been welcomed.

The hard of hearing will be able to access public services independently via Contact SCOTLAND, the online video relay interpreting service, which is the first of its kind in the UK.

Launched this month by the Scottish Government, Contact SCOTLAND will allow people to get in touch with local authorities using a video link so that they can use sign language, which is then interpreted to public service staff.

Councillor Ricky Henderson, Health, Social Care and Housing Convener, said that the project will help to break down barriers.

He said: "This project is very welcome. It's important that the services many people take for granted are equally accessible to the deaf community.

"The video interpreting service will mean that they won't have to rely on someone calling the Council on their behalf any more. It will help many to overcome these communication barriers and will, in turn, lead to an improved quality of life."

Contact SCOTLAND can be accessed at

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