The service will be available on a range of devices from Friday, including existing textphones
and Braille readers and most Windowsbased personal computers and laptops.
'Over the years we have invested in a number of facilities to assist deaf and hard-of-hearing people, including textphones
, a minicom system and induction loops.
Textphones are the best solution, but most firms have not installed them, either because they are ignorant of the problem or because they are reluctant to foot the bill: today's models will set them back as much as 400 [pounds sterling], excluding the cost of a dedicated number and fixed line.
Few organisations offer textphone facilities and those that do provide them often fail to advertise the number, leaving the responsibility with a hearing person to obtain it on behalf of the deaf caller.
It's notable that none of the recruiters in the past few issues of Financial Management appears to offer a textphone facility.
This is where an intermediary translates the textphone communication into voice format and vice versa, allowing a conversation to take place.
Textphones have been installed at the information desk and main terminal and two more will be installed in Eurohub and the international departure lounge.
CONNECTED: Calling the shots are (from left) Lorna Williams (Airtours) Jonathan Leonard (British Airways) Maria Albanese (Birmingham International Airport) and Fiona Kennedy (Air 2000) with the new Textphones