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Athens introduces remote sign language interpretation service in municipal clinics

Athens introduces remote sign language interpretation service in municipal clinics

It seeks to facilitate the lives of citizens with hearing impairments

To mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December), the City of Athens has launched a new service to facilitate the lives of citizens who are deaf or hard of hearing. That is, it has unveiled ‘Relay’: a remote interpretation service in Greek sign language.

Making healthcare more accessible

Many people are often anxious and worried when visiting clinics and speaking to doctors. For people who are deaf or hard of hearing, this already unpleasant experience is even worse. Understanding the struggles of people with such disabilities, the City of Athens has integrated the Relay service in four municipal clinics.

For the first time in the country, citizens will be able to connect to the remote service using a tablet provided by the clinic. From there, they can reach experienced and professional interpreters who will facilitate their communication with doctors and nurses.

Combating social exclusion

In a press release, the Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis commented on the need for such services, noting: “It is our duty to facilitate in every way the daily lives of people with disabilities. From the beginning of our term, we have implemented a series of interventions in the basic structures of the city to create easier access for people with mobility problems in both urban life and the schools of Athens.”

Taking this further, Bakoyannis noted that this is the first time the municipality is utilising such technology in primary health services to help citizens who have difficulties with communication. In this way, the city is working hard to create “an Athens without discrimination and social exclusion, with equal treatment of all its citizens.”

The service will be available daily from 9 am to 3 pm in the Kalfopouleio Health Centre, the Municipal Clinic of Neos Kosmos, Petralona, and the Municipal Clinic of Kypseli.

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