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Ofcom announces improvements for text relay service

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When hearing loss does strike it can affect many areas of your life that you may not have imagined at first.

Things you would normally take for granted can become difficult or even impossible even with the help of hearing aids and other such devices.

One area which can fall into this category is communication and, in particular, telephone calls. The world is now a much smaller place thanks to things such as mobile phones, Skype and video messaging.

So there should be no reason why you have to miss out on this simply because of your hearing loss.

Our audiologists can offer various handy hints and tips for how to use mobiles and phones to communicate well but a helping hand has also been given by the watchdog, Ofcom.

It has ruled, after a lengthy investigation, that the new text relay service needs to be made available to people with hearing and speech impairments by all landline and mobile telephone providers.

Ofcom found that, under the current system, callers were left frustrated by the inability to interrupt, have ‘real time’ conversations or express and detect emotion.

Now, landline and mobile providers must offer a next generation text relay service to all customers who require it within the next 18 months.

Claudio Pollack, Ofcom’s consumer group director, said she hoped the new service would mean a significant improvement for people with hearing impairments.

“The new text relay service will provide a real improvement on the current telephone experience for hearing and speech impaired customers,” she said.

“Technology in this area is still evolving, so Ofcom will continue working to ensure disabled users can access reliable, up-to-date relay services which help them communicate more easily.”

The watchdog has also said that it will be looking to work with both industry and disability representatives to see if there are any further improvements to be made with speech recognition technology.

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