How deaf people use the phone & Next Generation Text Service

28 December 2016

Some people who are deaf, with severe hearing loss or speech impairment can face significant barriers using the phone. Although the internet, texting and social media have improved communication, in many situations they can’t replace the real time two-way communication of telephone calls.

The Panel and ACOD have been very interested in two pieces of research on the experience of deaf people in accessing telephony:

The National Association for Deafened People (NADP) asked deaf people about their experience of using the phone. Read the results of the survey: How do deaf people use the phone? (PDF 1.12MB opens in a new window).

BT carried out a customer satisfaction survey of users of the relay service.

Text relay and since 2014, the Next Generation Text Service (NGTS) enable deaf people to make and receive calls through an operator who speaks to the hearing party and types their response. The NGT service is provided by BT, but all providers of fixed and mobile telephony are obliged to offer the service to their customers. An important feature of NGTS is the app, NGT Lite, so users can communicate without having to have a textphone – just by using a laptop, mobile or tablet.

The Panel has been very interested in the progress of the NGTS and is keen for communications providers to promote these valuable services.

NGT Lite is free to download from the Google play store, the Apple app store and the NGT Website.

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