999 BSL – UK Emergency Video Relay Service
What is it?
The UK Emergency Video Relay Service supports people who are deaf, or those who have hearing loss. It allows them to make a video call to the emergency services – whether it’s their local police, ambulance, fire, or coastguard service – and communicate in British Sign Language (BSL) through video relay. What’s more, users can access this service through various devices, such as smartphones, tablets, or laptops.
How it works
Simply download the 999 BSL app or visit their website to make a call. You’ll get through to a BSL interpreter who will relay your conversation to a 999 operator. They’ll also let you know everything the operator says via sign language. You don’t have to worry about speaking with anyone, as the interpreter will manage the conversation in real-time to ensure everything is clear. If you’re still unsure how it works, check out these three simple steps for using the 999 BSL app.
The 999 BSL app and website is completely free to use and is available 24/7.
Follow the links below to download the 999 BSL app:
You can access the service directly from the 999 BSL website.
Text relay services
If you have hard of hearing, have a speech-impairment or deaf you can
use Relay UK(*) services to connect by using the Relay UK app or a text phone.
To use this service, Download the Relay UK app for free from the Relay UK
Your Relay UK service options are;
- Type and Read; if you can't hear and don't use your voice.
- Speak and Read; if you can't hear but can use your voice.
- Type and Hear; if you can hear but don't use their voice.
- Speak and Hear; if you have some hearing and use your voice.
There are lots of different ways of using relay UK Services. You can
use your mobile phone, textphone or
landline for the voice part of your conversation, and another device like a PC, laptop or tablet to
view the text.
Or you can do it all on your smartphone just as long as it lets you use the internet and make phone
calls at the same time.
For more information about how to use the services and to download Relay UK App please visit the Relay UK
To make a call, enter 18001(**) - followed by the full phone number
including dialling code.
Relay Assistant will then assist you by converting your conversation
to your required service option.
Emergency Calls and SMS by using Relay services
When contacting the emergency services, dial 18000 instead of the
normal 18001 through the app or from a textphone. You will connect to 999 and a relay assistant.
Tell them which emergency service you need, and operator will then connect you to the right
You can also send SMS text message to the UK 999 emergency service.
However, to use this service you must register your phone. To see details
for how to set up
emergency SMS please visit https://www.relayuk.bt.com/how-to-use-relay-uk/contact-999-using-relay-uk.html.
You can also make calls to international numbers from the UK. To do
this, just dial 18000 followed by the full international number starting with 00. But please
remember - relay assistants only speak English, so they won't be able to translate anything for you.
Standard UK calls made through Relay UK are free, and non-standard UK
calls will be charged as per our standard rates.
(*) Formally known as Next Generation Text Services.
(**) If you’re using a smartphone with the Relay UK app, 18001
is automatically included before the number you want to dial.