Direct Access launches

NHS sign language interpretation service

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Direct Access has secured a four-year NHS Shared Business Services framework contract to supply sign language interpreters for deaf and hard-of-hearing patients.

We make this announcement on a very significant day for us at the company, Deaf Awareness Week. As our Founder and other members of the team are deaf, Direct Access is thrilled to gain this opportunity. The new framework provides vital communication services for NHS hospitals, medical clinics, GP, and dental practices for both in and outpatients across nine NHS regions. Direct Access won the opportunity to supply in eight regions including all of Scotland and Wales.

Established in 2004, Direct Access is the UK’s leading accessibility consultancy advising organisations on physical access to premises. At the height of the COVID pandemic, we became a crucial supplier of ClearMasks™ which provided a clear vision panel for deaf and hard-of-hearing people to lipread the wearer. We are extremely pleased to have another opportunity to better accessibility measures in public environments yet again with this NHS contract win.

PAs lockdown restrictions ease and hospital appointments resume, providing sign language interpreters to enable deaf and hard of hearing people the ability to communicate with medical professionals became the next logical step from supplying masks,” said Director Steven Mifsud, who is also profoundly deaf. “We will be providing NRCPD registered sign language interpreters from Cornwall to the Scottish Highlands for both routine and emergency medical appointments.”

“Direct Access is deaf-owned and deaf-run providing an inherent understanding of the barriers that deaf and hard of hearing people face. I am delighted our team will be addressing these barriers to assure fair access to healthcare for deaf people.”

The regions Direct Access are delivering sign language services will include the Northwest, Northeast & Yorkshire, East Midlands, West Midlands, East of England, South Central & South East Coast, South West, Scotland, and Wales.

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