Information for Public Authorities/Third Sector front line staff

What is and why contactScotland-BSL service is important?

contactSCOTLAND-BSL is a Scottish Government service that connects deaf BSL users throughout Scotland through an online BSL interpreting video relay service (VRS) with all of Scotland’s public authorities and voluntary organisations (Third Sector).

With 1 in 6 of the population being deaf, we provide an easy and flexible way of interacting with deaf BSL users who use and access your services. Deaf people can contact you and of course you can contact deaf people.

Sign-Language-Interactions contactSCOTLAND-BSL is Scotland wide/cross-service and brought to you by Sign Language Interactions.

We have created a short online presentation that outlines the service >> click here <<.

Call 0131 510 4555 to connect to the online interpreter – using your usual phone

How to use contactSCOTLAND …

Calling a Deaf person


To contact a Deaf person is simple:

  • The person you are calling needs to have downloaded the contactSCOTLAND-BSL/interpreternow software app and be online

Call 0131 510 4555 to connect to the online interpreter – using your usual phone

  • Give the online interpreter the name of the person you wish to call
  • Subject to the Deaf person you are calling having downloaded the app and being ‘logged in’, the online interpreter will be able to connect you immediately
  • The interpreter will relay the call between you and the Deaf person.


Our on-line BSL Interpreters follow a code of conduct – see here for more information

Receiving a call from a deaf person

caller1It’s simple, just answer the call your usual way – our interpreter at contactSCOTLAND will speak to you (interpreting what the deaf person is signing) and sign to the deaf person (interpreting what your are saying).

Treat this as a ‘normal’ conversation and take turns.

Tips for contactSCOTLAND calls:

  • Calls may be slightly longer than calls direct to another person (not using an interpreter) as it is going through a 3rd person – so this will obviously add some time to the call
  • It may be useful to plan your call in advance
  • Have pen and paper handy – may be useful to take notes
  • Don’t worry about any ‘pauses’, although the interpreter will be signing simultaneously as you speak, there may be a slight time-lag while interpreting to/from the target and source language takes place
  • Interpreters will remain professional and impartial, and will not offer views or comments on what’s being discussed, even if asked!

Visit our FAQs page for some answers to common questions.


 Call contactSCOTLAND-BSL 0131 510 4555

Questions? – visit our FAQs page