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January 6, 2005

Typetalk allows deaf to do business by phone

From: Sutton Borough Guardian - UK - Jan 6, 2005

Businesses across Sutton are being encouraged to sign up to free training sessions which will help them meet their obligations under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

Following the introduction of the third part of the new law late last year, companies are required to give disabled people equal access to goods, facilities and services.

And to help with this, an innovative service has been developed which allows deaf and hearing people to communicate over the phone.

The Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID) believes its Typetalk system will allow businesses to make the necessary improvements to provide services for the estimated 28,000 Sutton residents who are deaf, hard of hearing, deafened or deaf-blind.

The system works by letting deaf people type their message into a text phone an operator then relates the message to a hearing person.

Free on-site training in Typetalk is being offered to businesses by RNID, with advice on making and receiving calls provided by outreach co-ordinators.

Lorna Hammerstein, head of customer services at Typetalk, said: "The Disability Discrimination Act is here to ensure all disabled people have equal rights and access to services.

"We have been busier training businesses last year than ever before, but there are still plenty of firms which have not accessed our free training."

10:31am Thursday 6th January 2005

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