DeafHear Regional News

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ComReg give green light to
new Text Relay service

Updated: 22nd February 2016

DeafHear.ie Late Christmas present for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people! ComReg give green light to new Text Relay service 2015

 

On December 30th 2015 ComReg published it’s decision that telecoms providers must provide thier customers with access to a modern text relay service. The new text relay service must be accessible from mobile phones, laptops, computers, tablets and similar devices. The new service will significantly improve accessiblility to a range of everyday activities for many Deaf and Hard of Hearing people and other people who may be unable to make voice calls.

How Text Relay Services Work.

Late Christmas present for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people! ComReg give green light to new Text Relay service 2015

 

While ComReg’s decision is effective immediately, the telecoms providers may introduce the new service at any time during 2016. It is likely that most of the service providers will use a service already being provided in the UK by British Telecom (BT), and it is likely to be at least a number of months before any new service is operational as technical development and testing will be required. One of the next steps is that any providers who wish to use the BT service must inform ComReg of this by the end of January 2016.

It is also worth noting that only the major telecom companies with over 100,000 customers are obliged to provide access to a text relay service for their customers.

1,000 people to benefit

DeafHear estimate that when the new text relay service is up and running, over 1,000 people will be regular users, with up 2,000 calls being made every week. “This is really good news for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people”, said Brendan Lennon, DeafHear’s Head of Advocacy. “It will enhance the independence of a significant number of people and remove some of the barriers faced by people with hearing loss on a daily basis.”

When the service is up and running it will mean that people who cannot make voice calls will have the option of calling through the text relay service… to book an appointment with their GP, order a pizza, or contact a friend or business acquaintance directly.

 

“It will enhance the independence of a significant number of people and remove some of the barriers faced by people with hearing loss on a daily basis.”

 

No additional charges

People who use the text relay service will not be charged extra for using the service, but will be subject to normal call charges similar to other phone users. This helps ensure that the new service complies with the EU Directive to provide people with disabilities with equivalent access and choice to electronic communication services.

DeafHear’s website will be providing updates on the implementation of the new text relay service throughout 2016.

 

 

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ComReg: Do they make a difference to the lives of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people?
Posted: May 2015

ComReg is the statutory body with responsibility for the regulation of the telecommunications and postal sectors. It was established in 2002. Read on...

DeafHear.ie ComReg: Do they make a difference to the lives of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people?
   

To learn more about ComReg’s Text Relay Services consultation
Posted: March 2015

This is an important consultation, as a modernised Text Relay Service would enable a large number of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people to… Read on...

DeafHear.ie Text Relay Services: ComReg announce consultation 2015

Media Contacts

DeafHear.ie will provide spokespersons to comment on issues relevant to Deaf and Hard of Hearing people on request.

To contact Brendan Lennon; Head of Information and Policy, click here...

 

 

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