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New Service Increases Council’s Accessibility

Mid Ulster District Council has increased its accessibility by launching a new dedicated video sign language service which will benefit residents, visitors or users who are deaf and are sign language users.

The service has been introduced initially at the Council’s three main offices in Cookstown, Dungannon and Magherafelt, and in a number of leisure venues, including, Cookstown, Dungannon and Greenvale leisure centres, as well as Mid Ulster Sports Arena (MUSA). Plans are also in place for the service to be introduced at Council arts facilities; including the Burnavon, Ranfurly House and Seamus Heaney HomePlace when they re-open.

The video sign language service allows people who are deaf to independently communicate with hearing people via a Sign Language interpreter in real time via a video relay system.

The initiative has come about as part of Council’s Disability Action Plan which aims to ensure that residents and visitors who are Sign Language users can access Council services independently.

Speaking about the introduction of the new service, Chair of the Council’s Policy and Resources Committee, Councillor Malachy Quinn said,

Accessibility is priority for the Council. Ensuring residents and users can easily access our services, whether it’s the website, our buildings, signage or even just over the phone, is of the utmost importance to us. The new video relay telephone system has increased our accessibility even further and goes a long way in enabling our service users who are deaf, to more easily access our services independently.

Ursula Marshall, Chairperson of Mid Ulster Disability Forum added, “Mid Ulster Disability Forum really welcomes the introduction of this service. It is vitally important that people with a disability can access Council services and facilities as independently as possible. This is especially important in the current climate created by the pandemic.”

To find out more, or to access the service, go to the Sign Video page.

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