Requirements for social and physical distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for sign language interpreters to accompany deaf or hard-of-hearing persons when they have to communicate with people who do not understand sign language.
It is now almost imperative to use remote sign language interpretation or video remote interpretation (VRI) services. VRI services are not only needed when on-site sign language interpreters are not available, but also in situations where on-site interpreters are not qualified for the assignment, or when last-minute or unexpected interpreting is needed. VRI is a perfect solution for education, healthcare, business meetings, and for government, social and financial services, and many more.
This report describes the recent work carried out by the Digitas Institute in its test-bed project to develop, test and deploy ICT accessibility solutions. We have focused on testing WebRTC based video remote interpretation services, aimed at deaf and hard-of-hearing communities. A summary of our findings is presented. The list of WebRTC products tested may be incomplete as the technology is still in development.