Local city offers Deaf citizens easier access in communication through video telephone system

On December 19, Murayama City in Yamagata Prefecture started the interpreting service through the video conferencing system aiming at smooth communication with the Deaf citizen who visits the City Hall. (see the photo on the link below)

According to the NTC Business Union that manages the call center, the city is the third city that introduced the system in the prefecture, following Yamagata City and Sagae City.

The IP video conferencing system that uses an optical line was set up in the welfare office in the city hall. The staff who receives Deaf visitors, etc. operates the system, and she connects to the interpreter service section at the call center.

The interpreter interprets for the Deaf who tells the purpose of his visit. Then her vocal message is conveyed to the staff through the headphone. When the staff replies, it is similarly interpreted to the Deaf.

Eri Takahashi, the representative from the union, acted as a Deaf woman and communicated with the staff using the video conferencing system on this day when it became a start first day.

The number of Deaf/hard of hearing persons in the city is estimated to be 168. It is expected that the service offered by the city will be easier through the service by the video telephone system, though there are differences in the level of their troubles and language skill, etc.

Source: Yamagata Shimbun, Dec. 20, 2008
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