Deaf News: Sainsbury’s signs up with SignVideo so Deaf BSL users can call customer services (BSL)

Posted on June 5, 2015

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Sainsbury’s has become the first food retailer in the UK to bring SignVideo (a long-running supporter of this site) to its customer service centres – revolutionising the way deaf British Sign Language (BSL) users can contact them.

The year-long trial begins this week and enables deaf customers using BSL to contact Sainsbury’s call centres via a secure video interpreting service.

Watch this news in BSL by clicking play below:

This service means that deaf customers using sign language can now call Sainsbury’s instantly at no cost.

How it works:

  • The service allows customers to place a call to Sainsbury’s careline and grocery online contact centres via a free link on the Help Centre.
  • It instantly connects deaf customers to a BSL interpreter who phones the call centre and relays the conversation in real time.
  • The service will be available at all times Monday-Friday 8am-6pm and is free for deaf customers to use.

Sainsbury’s already uses Text Relay which is used by many deaf and hard of hearing people. However, this will be the first time that deaf customers will have instant British Sign Language access when calling the supermarket.

Previously, deaf BSL users had to rely on hearing friends or relatives to make the call for them. With SignVideo they can do it themselves from the comfort of their home, with waiting times less than 30 seconds.

Tim Fallowfield, Company Secretary, Corporate Services Director and Board Champion for Disability and Carers at Sainsbury’s said:

“We pride ourselves on our customer service, and part of this is making sure it’s as easy as possible for all our customers to communicate with us about their shop. We already have induction loops in all our stores for hearing aid users, and we’re pleased to be trialling this innovative solution to make it even easier for our deaf BSL customers to get in touch with us when they need to.”

Jeff McWhinney, Chairman and Founder of SignVideo, said:

“Sainsbury’s has broken new ground in embracing SignVideo, a video relay service in BSL. They have been pro-active in seeking to ensure equality in their customer service experience for deaf BSL customers and SignVideo is looking forward to working with them. By implementing this technology, Sainsbury’s has shown the way forward for the food and retail industry and I hope that more will follow their example by opening up access to deaf BSL customers.”

Find Sign Video’s BSL Live link on Sainsbury’s website by clicking here.

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Posted in: deaf news