That waiting to be called to be seen in the outpatient clinic or to access the services of any public administration is not a barrier. This is what deaf people aspire to , who come to a public facility for the first time and who, although they are able to read the signs, need extra support to be able to orient themselves.

Especially in those places where the public address or the loud call is used. The approval of a new order, which will come into force in January 2022, requires the inclusion of sign language and video interpretation in urbanized public spaces for the first time . The basic conditions of accessibility in these spaces will allow people with hearing disabilities toor those who need it can access their services with ease.

Smart gloves translate sign language into speech
This new regulation, which repeals the ministerial order of 2010 , where no reference was made to sign language, interpretation or video interpretation services, provides for the inclusion of video visuals in all areas of access, traffic, public use and urban furniture that in its operation transmit acoustic phrases, in this way they will be accessible to all those who, due to their hearing impairment, cannot. “It is very important to guarantee accessibility for people with disabilities worldwide,” says Esther Gálvez, from the accessibility area of ​​the Federation of Deaf People of Catalonia (FESOCA).

The ministerial order approved last July by the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda, develops the regulations of the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities of 2007 , which forced member states to get involved to try to form their legislation on accessibility .

That is why Spain has been forced to reform these regulations with antecedents in 2010. “Making a comparison between an order and the new one, we see that it is very positive that it incorporates reference to sign language or interpretation. We value it although there has been a lot of work behind it”, Emphasizes Gálvez .

Video interpretation services
FESOCA, which participated in the development of the standard, has a platform called SVIsual together with the State Confederation of Deaf People (CNSE), in which an interpreter not present can facilitate communication through a mobile, computer or tablet of a deaf person with another hearing person .

“We are fighting so that many public administrations can use it”, indicates Albert Casellas, president of the federation, who adds that many entities already have it or will do so this month as is the case of Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona, ​​Aigües de Barcelona or the Mollet del Vallés Town Hall.

The application of this method allows that it can not only be used individually or for personal matters, but it can also be very useful in public places and services such as in a hospital. “This tool is very important since with an electronic device, the patient and the doctor present can easily maintain good communication ,” says Casellas. “It is a benefit for interpreters because by staying in a fixed place they can go to more places,” he adds. “Presentially, it can do at most two or three services, but thanks to these new technologies they can go to many more situations,” he adds.

Casellas affirms that this service is clearly linked to new technologies and influenced by the pandemic. “The use of this service has been a consequence, thanks or because of the pandemic that has accelerated the process, which we have been claiming for a long time, ” he says.

The SVISUAL platform avoids presence and guarantees equal rights and access to information . Gálvez emphasizes that the application of this platform does not derive from the new order but rather represents a “push” while the other platforms are not applied.

“Is this order a priority?” Casellas wonders. “Perhaps there are other priorities as president and deaf person, but we fight for so many things that having one more is always a success,” he concludes.

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