The Royal Association for Deaf people (RAD) is delighted to be the first Deaf organisation in the UK to launch a call-centre style webcam portal to allow Deaf people to contact its Deaf Law Centre in BSL online. The webcam portal enhances the previous system of advising Deaf clients via webcam using various popular instant messaging software such as Windows Live Messenger, ooVoo and Skype. It removes the need for individual accounts to be held by the Deaf client and by RAD DLC legal advisers. Clients can now call their adviser in RAD DLC in the same way as a hearing person would telephone their legal adviser, albeit with the use of a webcam and/or text chat.

The webcam portal utilises Video Relay Services technology developed by AuPix. It uses a Total Conversation softphone known as “APS-50”, which has been optimised for users who are Deaf or hard of hearing and features video, voice and real time text communication. Because the APS-50 has been developed around the needs of its users, a range of features such as a flashing screen and an external flashing device have been incorporated to alert users of incoming calls. If it is outside business hours or staff are not available to take calls, clients will be given the option of leaving a video message.

The webcam portal can be found here. First-time users will need to download the plugin. Once downloaded, click on “Make Call”.

The webcam portal is also now accessible via iPad or iPhone using the TCPhone App. When you have downloaded the App and set up your account, you can call RAD DLC on 01633 215099 via webcam and/or text chat.