For The First Time In Hungary: Video Sign Language Interpreter Service

  • 18 Jul 2013 9:04 AM
For The First Time In Hungary: Video Sign Language Interpreter Service
Thanks to the Vodafone Hungary Foundation and the Hallatlan [Unheard (of)] Foundation, as of today, another service one of its kind in Hungary will make life easier for persons with hearing impairments.

 A video sign language interpreter service was launched, which will become accessible free of charge to those in need as of 4 July 2013 from the Fiume street building of the Péterfy Sándor Street Hospital and Polyclinic and Emergency Centre of the Municipality of Budapest, the first public institution to offer such service. Watch how the solution can help!

For the deaf and hard of hearing, many times it is extremely difficult to even attend to everyday errands without the assistance of a sign language interpreter.

Although the third largest language minority in Hungary, the deaf, with approx. 50,000 persons affected, has been entitled for years now to use the help of sign language interpreters free of charge, but as the personal presence of the interpreter was essential for this until now, in unexpected situations, in the event of accidents or emergency medical intervention required, even their lives could be at risk due to the difficulties as to communication.

As a result of the joint cooperation of the Hallatlan Foundation and the Vodafone Hungary Foundation, the first national institution offering video sign language interpreter services is the Péterfy Sándor Street Hospital and Polyclinic and Emergency Centre of Budapest, by the help of an IP video phone and tablet available at the Hospital. The aim of the service is to facilitate dealing with matters related to public services and medical care for those with hearing impairments.

Thanks to mobile technology the service provides efficient assistance also in cases of emergency— such as accidents, fire, life hazard—as the sign language interpreter does not need to be present in person any more. With the help of a Smartphone or a tablet, or a video chat programme freely available for download, the interpreter sitting in front of a camera at the office of the Hallatlan Foundation 24/7 can be reached from anywhere.

“Mobile phones can help people feel more secure, knowing they can call for help when they need it. Some of the most vulnerable people in our society can have difficulty using mobile phones and often it’s those who could benefit the most. It is a special objective of Vodafone for those with disabilities to be also able to fully enjoy the advantages offered by mobile communication. In cooperation with the Hallatlan Foundation we have been working for years on making mobile technology available for use in the process of the social integration of the deaf and hard of hearing.

The initial result of our cooperation was the sign language dictionary available via the internet and mobile phone, providing an efficient form of training of the Hungarian sign language. The video sign language interpreter service, unique in Hungary, presented today is another important step taken towards making the lives of those with hearing impairments easier.” - said Ibolya Gothárdi, HR Director of Vodafone Hungary, and member of the Board of Trustees of the Vodafone Hungary Foundation.

“The launching of the video sign language interpreter service is a real milestone, and provides significant help to those with hearing impairments. We hope that in the near future our free-of-charge service will become available at more and more hospitals and public institutions.” - said Pál Bartos, President of the Hallatlan Foundation.

“As a person with hearing impairment I face serious difficulties every day. My native language, the sign language is not spoken by the majority of people. This makes communication difficult, and many times even impossible. The video sign language interpreter service provides an opportunity to narrow the communications gap that has existed for a long time between those with no difficulties as to hearing and those with hearing impairments, and for us to get closer to each other day by day.” - said Fanni Weisz, the world famous deaf model at the press conference presenting the service in operation.

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