Cllr Tina Valcarcel is the Deputy Cabinet Member for Disability and a councillor in Larkhall ward.
Following the outcome of the Equality Commission of 2017, Lambeth Council and Lambeth Labour have put disability at the forefront of its agenda ensuring that its communities are inclusive in providing services to meet everyone’s needs.
On Friday, I was delighted to launch Sign Live, an application designed by a deaf-owned organisation, which gives customers immediate access to British Sign Language interpreters. The council has been working in collaboration with organisations such as AccessAble to encourage council offices to be accessible, whilst getting businesses and other organisations on board.
This service is vital in supporting our Deaf Community, because in the past it has taken about two weeks to book a face-to-face signer, but with the Sign Live application, it provides customers immediate access to British Sign Language interpreters. With the click of a mouse, or a tap of icon on a mobile phone, this service puts a customer in touch with a signer to facilitate conversation between a customer service officer and a Deaf Service User.
So what are the next steps for Lambeth? We are working hard to ensure that all deaf residents are better supported when dealing with any council service, delivering on our commitment towards a better and fairer Lambeth. We will continue to work extremely hard in collaboration with our partners and our vibrant communities to make Lambeth Borough, unique in its diversity and culture, and a leader in the field of making London accessible to all its residents.
Cllr Tina Valcarcel