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Children and the elderly with hearing impairments can also use the remote interpretation service in the New Year

Rõõm. Foto: Karolina Grabowska,
Rõõm. Foto: Karolina Grabowska,

The Social Insurance Board will continue to offer remote interpretation services in the New Year to hearing-impaired people communicating via sign language. If the service was thus far provided to people with a reduced work ability, then starting in the New Year the circle of service recipients will be expanded and the service will also be available to children and the elderly.

An appointment is not necessary to use the remote interpretation service, which makes using the service, just when you need it, convenient. ‘I am pleased that children and the elderly with hearing disabilities will also be able to use the remote interpretation service in the New Year. Clients have been waiting for this step for a long time’, said Sandra Laurimaa, Interpretation Service Project Manager at the Social Insurance Board.

The remote interpretation service is primarily intended for taking care of quick everyday matters and the service can be used for a maximum of 30 minutes at a time. ‘Interpretation can be used in a wide variety of situations, such as making an appointment with a doctor, communicating with the administrative agencies, for communicating quickly at work, at school, at a shop or pharmacy, or wherever the need arises. All you need is an Internet connection, smart device and Skype’, said Laurimaa. 

There are 1500 people in Estonia who require the aid of a sign language interpreter when communicating with non-hearing impaired people. Participants in the remote interpretation service do not have to be in the same room. To connect with an interpreter, you need an Internet connection and a computer or smart device with a webcam.

The remote interpretation service is provided via Skype and is available Monday through Friday from 9.00 to 17.00, and on Saturdays from 10.00 to 16.00.

Remote interpretation services are provided by NGO Tartu Viipekeeletõlgid and Viipekeeletõlkide OÜ. In order to access the service, you need to look up a user named ‘remote interpretation’ in Skype. The service is free for deaf people.

In addition, the Social Insurance Board offers a written interpretation service for people with reduced work ability and hearing loss. During the service, the interpreter is next to the person and enters the audible text on the screen, where the person in need of the service can read it.

Interpretation services are funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). 

Additional information on remote interpretation and written interpretation can be found on the homepage of the Social Insurance Board.