Liberal Democrat Peer Malcolm Bruce will today call on the Government to follow the lead of many other countries and back a National Video Relay service.
This well established technology allows sign language users to access interpreters online, anytime, anywhere.
The cost would be minimal in a £40 billion a year market but its benefits would be transformational allowing sign language users to dial up an interpreter to help with communication at work, in accessing public or private services and for social interaction with family and friends.
The deaf community have been campaigning for this for years but the Government have so far failed to act.
Lord Bruce, whose daughter is deaf and has worked closely with many charities for deaf people, commented:
“Communication in their preferred language is crucial for deaf people’s well-being and quality of life.
“We have a developed technology ready and available to serve the deaf community. The only thing stopping it is Government inertia.
“It would also make efficient use of the limited number of interpreters who currently spend time on unpaid travel”.
Notes to editors:
Lord Bruce has the 3rd Oral Question in the House of Lords Chamber this morning.