Project Description

Local Authorities / County Councils

With InterpreterNow as your partner in delivering Video Relay Service (VRS) and Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) services, access for deaf people who use British Sign Language (BSL) is opened beyond expectations.

The British Deaf Association (BDA) state that British Sign Language (BSL) is the preferred language of over 87,000 Deaf people in the UK for whom English may be a second or third language (A total of 151,000 individuals in the UK who can use BSL – this figure does not include professional BSL users, Interpreters, Translators, etc unless they use BSL at home).


What is and where can video Remote Interpreting (VRI) and Video Relay Service (VRS) be used?

InterpreterNow can be used in one single site or on a multi-site basis. Packages are offered that include a set number of login credentials that allow you to allocate as appropriate. This can be from one for a single site or 10 for the same site but held within different departments or 10 spread across a geographical area where deaf people will access services.

Video Remote Interpreting (VRI): Is where one-to-one communication between a deaf person and a hearing person in the same location will be possible using InterpreterNow’s Video Remote Interpreting.

This will be available through the InterpreterNow app on smartphones, tablets, or through a web page on a desktop or laptop computers (PC/Mac).

E.g. A deaf BSL user having an over the counter exchange with a council employee (Council tax enquiry for example).


Video Relay Service (VRS): Is where communication can take place when three people are in three different locations using InterpreterNows’s Video Relay Service.

This will be available through the InterpreterNow app on smartphones, tablets, or through a web page on a desktop or laptop computers (PC/Mac).

E.g. Deaf BSL user calling to check or change an appointment for housing repairs.
Or council officer/employee calling a deaf person to make arrangements for a forthcoming meeting.

Can VRI/VRS replace the need for face-to-face BSL/English interpreting provision?

No, it s not intended to replace the need for face-to-face interpreting, in fact, we see this as complementary to face-to-face provision. This is especially true when an interpreter is on route or when a deaf client presents themselves at non-scheduled appointments such as council information desks. We tend to say that VRI should only be used when nothing else would happen!

Is information secure?

We, InterpreterNow, do not retain any personal information, or staff information for that matter, whatsoever. Our calls, both video and telephony, are not recorded and we do not retain any written data that identifies any individual. We may, depending on reporting requirements that are in place, record and report on high level information on service use such as:

  • Council/service name
  • Department contacted
  • Reason for contact (appointment, enquiry etc)

Interpreter Qualifications

InterpreterNow only engages BSL interpreters who:

  • Have achieved a minimum level of training and qualification (NRCPD / SASLI)
  • Have a minimum of 3 years post-qualification experience
  • Undertake Continuing Professional Development
  • Hold Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Hold current Enhanced DBS clearance
  • Adhere to a professional Code of Conduct
  • Are beholden to an independent Complaints Procedure
  • Adhere to InterpreterNow’s Code of Practice

Our technology

Our platform that we use, nWise/MMX, is a world renown system that has been specifically developed for video/telecommunications with deaf sign language users. InterpreterNow runs the MMX system on a UK-based datacentre which ensures that no user data goes off-shore. The datacentre is highly secure, referred to as Tier 4, one of the highest security levels, and the servers are dual-redundant, meaning they have very high levels of availability with instant switch-over backup power supplies and internet gateways.

What we already provide:

InterpreterNow, working with its partner interpreting organisations, provides VRS (Video Relay Services) and VRI services to clients including:

  • contactSCOTLAND-BSL, the national Scottish VRS service that connects deaf people to all Scottish public bodies and voluntary organisations – VRS
  • NHS 111, the national non-emergency medical advice telephone service – VRS
  • National Pandemic Flu Service, Public Health England’s pandemic flu triage and antiviral-issuing telephone-based service – VRS
  • Leicestershire Police 101 non-emergency telephone service – VRS
  • A number of NHS Trusts, Hospitals, and GPs – VRI
  • The Department of Health’s Tablets For Health project (research project assessing impact of access to VRS and VRI on a large cohort of deaf people) – VRS and VRI

InterpreterNow is constantly improving access to communication and services for deaf people.

More Information

For more information on InterpreterNow VRI and VRS services please contact us for further details – contact us.

Download our InterpreterNow factsheet (PDF)