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Barnet Signs On

10 July 2003

Barnet has launched a new interpreter service that allows deaf and hard-of-hearing residents to talk with council staff, it has been announced.

The state-of-the-art facility, one of 42 across the country, will let users contact council employees through a videophone which is linked to a British Sign Language interpreter. Residents are then able to access all of the council's services.

The videophone increases the number of services that Barnet has on offer to help those with disabilities.

Commenting on the facility, Councillor Katia David, Cabinet Member for Human Resources, Equalities and Social Inclusion said: "It can be very frustrating for deaf people wanting advice or information from the council and are faced with communication barriers."

"As an organisation we recognise that without this videophone we would be failing residents who have a hearing impairment. We have a responsibility to overcome that difficulty and videophones go a long way toward achieving this," she added.

Based at Hendon Town Hall and supported by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf, the service is currently being made available two days a week, with residents requested to book their time in advance.

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