CVS has announced it will offer SignVideo, a service to deaf pet owners who use British Sign Language (BSL), across all its practices.
The new service will allow clients to make phone calls to CVS Veterinary practices and attend in-practice consultations using fully qualified BSL interpreters via video calls.
Julie Rutter, an animal nursing assistant from Marske Vets, gave a “compelling presentation” on deaf access to the CVS equality, diversity and inclusion work for the party last summer.
Rutter, who has been deaf since birth, explained the challenges that deaf people face, including the difficulties accessing veterinary advice.
As a result, CVS will be the first veterinary group in the UK to deliver the SignVideo service across all 450 of its UK practices.
Rutter said: “I’m delighted as a Deaf and British Sign Language user to see CVS become the first veterinary group to offer this important service to deaf clients, following my initial idea on Facebook.
“I currently have over 3,000 followers who have been waiting for me to announce the launch who will be very excited to be able to access veterinary services in our practices.”
Richard Fairman, chief executive officer at CVS, added: “We are delighted to launch the SignVideo service and hope it will make it easier for deaf BSL pet owners to contact our practices and access veterinary advice and also facilitate wider pet ownership.”