Third International Conference of the World Federation of the Deaf Abstract: nWise Presentation

Can you make a telephone call to any person or organisation whenever you want? Can you get an interpreter online via your video phone how and whenever you want to?

For some people in the international deaf society the access to a remote relay and interpreter service is both a fundamental right and a part of everyday life.  However, the big majority of deaf- and hard-of-hearing around the world has no access to services or very limited services in terms of if, when and how you can use the service

Even though organisations such as the European Union and the United Nations are putting millions of Euros and great resources into creating standards and recommendations for equal communications and accessibility for all, most countries still don´t have national Video and Text Relay service which are open for all and for all kinds of calls.

There are a number of very good arguments for any nation to support the idea of national relay services and politicians should be made aware of them.

Firstly, Relay Services are very profitable for society! Resources are used more efficiently. Typically an interpreter can make 3-4 assignments a day but with a Video relay service this figure can be elevated to 20-25 assignments a day.

Secondly, society long-term will have the possibility to get education and training, and take on jobs and tasks that are not available for non-hearing today.

Thirdly, all the standard technology is mature and ready to use for Relay Services in most countries. Smart phones, tablet computers, high resolution cameras, broadband with tons of Megabits, 4G etc. etc. has made, relay services so much better and more accessible then they were just a couple of years ago.

Fourthly, technology for a state-of-the-art Relay Services is inexpensive. All the technology for both Video- and Text relay including all Hardware and Software, all software for IOS, Android and PC End-points and full Contact Centre equipment normally doesn’t cost more than a couple of hundred thousand Euros a year for a national service in a midsize European country.  Frankly, this is petty cash for any government point of view.

Fifthly, we need the interpreters online for the future. Digitalisations means that a lot of society services such as health care services are going online and if deaf society shall keep the same level of accessibility also in the future.

The speaker is one of the founders of nWise, a company who specialises in Relay Services and who has been instrumental in delivering technology and running video- and text relay services all over the world. nWise has delivered its Relay Platform MMX to the all the Nordic Countries, UK, Holland, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland but also to countries outside Europe, like the US, Thailand, Brasil and Japan.