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Important changes to communication services

This message is to tell you about some important changes to the communication services RNID provides, that will take place from 31 March 2023.

It affects people who contact RNID to book communication support, including BSL interpreters, speech to text reporters, lipspeakers, deaf relay interpreters or electronic/manual notetakers.

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Over the last few months, we at RNID have been reviewing what services we should provide ourselves, and what services other organisations are better placed to provide. 

We have decided that we are no longer the best organisation to directly deliver communication support. This means that from the end of March 2023, our customers will no longer be able to book BSL interpreters, speech to text reporters, lipspeakers, deaf relay interpreters or electronic/manual notetakers through us.  

After the end of March, communication support will still be available as normal, however this will be booked by our customers through a new communication support provider.  We are working with our customers at the moment to help them find new high quality organisations to provide this service. We will continue to provide guidance to organisations to make sure that they understand the importance of only working with fully qualified and registered professionals.  

Whilst this service will be moving across to other providers, at RNID we are more committed than ever to making society fully inclusive for deaf people. We will continue to campaign at a national level for increased access to interpreters and other communication support. We are actively working with other charities to make sure that the recent BSL Act is implemented in full. And we continue to lobby the Government to ensure schemes like Access to Work and the NHS Accessible Information Standard provide equality for the deaf community. 

We know how important these services are for our communities, and we are dedicated to making sure that deaf people and people with hearing loss can access high-quality communication support whenever they need it. 

We understand that this will be a big change for some people, and we will continue to talk to our staff, freelancers, the deaf community, and customers to ensure that the transition to the new providers goes as smoothly as possible for everyone involved.  

We are keen to hear your feedback and answer any questions you have about this change. You can do that in a variety of ways, including SignLive for BSL users, by contacting us.

Contact us

If you are deaf, have hearing loss or tinnitus and need free confidential and impartial information and support, contact RNID.

We’re open 8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Page last updated: 10 January 2023

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