Manchester’s Police Department implements SignVideo to support persons with hearing disabilities

SignVideo is the name of a new service offered by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) to enable people to use British Sign Language to report crimes online. It consists in an instant video interpreter that translates the information for the police’s handlers thus enabling communication between the person and the police whenever it is necessary.

The service is available directly on GMP’s website and is accessible with any laptop, smartphone or tablet. When the button is clicked, the user calls GMP’s team who will then proceed to process the request. According to Assistant Chief Constable at GMP, Garry Shewan, SignVideo will support the deaf community to better face the everyday challenge of communicating with their institutions to demand for services.

Although GMP has already implemented mechanisms – such as emergency text message and text relay – to support the deaf community, SignVideo will allow the organization to attend non-emergency calls from people who utilize British Sign Language. The service will be available from 8am to 6pm from Monday to Friday.

According to Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester’s Mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner: “By breaking down the barriers people with disabilities face when engaging with the police, we can encourage more people to report crime, confident that they will be taken seriously.  It’s vital that the police service is accessible to all members of our community and this new tool is a positive step in achieving that ambition.”

Additional Sources: GAATES