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November 21, 2021, 09:05

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Press Service of the Department of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of the City of Moscow

Most often, townspeople with hearing impairments need help with sign language interpretation, and also ask to call a doctor at home.

There are two hot lines for Muscovites with hearing impairments in the capital. Video calls and messages in messengers are accepted in the “Speak with Hands” service and the call center of the Moscow City Organization All-Russian Society of the Deaf… Both projects are actively supported by the capital Department of Labor and Social Protection.

“The coronavirus has changed the everyday life of our citizens in many ways. A certain category of people found themselves in self-isolation due to the pandemic – pensioners over 60 and people with chronic diseases. But there are people who need special attention, among them are the townspeople with hearing impairments. They cannot just call and it is more difficult for them to ask for help. Therefore, during the pandemic, in order to make life easier for Muscovites who are deaf, a “Speak with your hands” hotline was created, which received more than 4.2 thousand calls this year alone. Line operators help to solve various life issues. It is very important to be heard and understood, even if you speak with your hands, ”said Elena Gromova, director of the GBU

“Moscow social centers”.

The Department of Labor and Social Protection of the capital launched a non-voice help service “Speak with your hands” in the fall of 2020. This year alone, the hotline received more than 4.2 thousand calls. The list of requests for hearing-impaired residents of the capital is gradually expanding. The most demanded is still help in sign language interpretation, as well as calling a doctor at home. The most convenient communication channel for hearing impaired Muscovites has become the WhatsApp messenger: this year 3.4 thousand calls have been received here (this is 80 percent of the total).

During self-isolation, the “Speak with Hands” hotline accepts applications for the delivery of food, medicine and essential goods from Muscovites with hearing impairments over 60 years old and Muscovites with chronic diseases. People who are faced with unforeseen situations in everyday life regularly turn to specialists. These are plumbing works, problems with electricity, the inability to get into the apartment and other difficulties.

Also, with the support of the Moscow Department of Labor and Social Protection, a hotline of the Moscow city organization of the All-Russian Society of the Deaf (MGO VOG) operates in the city. During the period from June to October 2021, the hotline received about two thousand calls from deaf Muscovites. The line employees are volunteers: either deaf or hearing residents of the city, but with knowledge of Russian sign language. The task of the operators is not only to help with the translation, but also to solve the problem that a person has. For example, specialists help those who apply to fill out applications on the portal of state services or mos.ru, make an appointment with a doctor at a polyclinic, and contact other services.

In addition, by calling the MHO VOG hotline, a person with a hearing disability can get legal advice, discuss the current situation with a psychotherapist or psychologist.

“It’s convenient that you don’t need to go anywhere and make an appointment with a sign language interpreter in advance. All services can be obtained online, without leaving home, using Skype or Zoom, ”said Maria, a Muscovite who recently contacted the MHO VOG line.

Also, hotline operators handle emergency requests and urgent calls, because people’s lives often depend on them. This includes calls for ambulance, police and rescuers. Each such emergency is recorded in the Operator’s Handbook.

In 2021, the number of applications for employment increased. Muscovites who are deaf are not only looking for work, but also ask for advice on various issues in this area. They are helped to write an application, write a resume, use a job search site. Next year, MHO VOG plans to launch a separate line for applications from employers and applicants with hearing disabilities.

To contact the “Speak with your hands” hotline for help, you need to write an SMS message or a message in any convenient form in WhatsApp and Viber at the number: +7 926 870-44-44. You can also write to Skype and the GovoriRukami telegram bot. In addition, Muscovites with hearing impairments can send a request or a video message to the e-mail address: GovoriRukami@mos.ru. You can leave a request from 08:00 to 21:00.

You can contact the MHO VOG hotline for deaf help by writing in WhatsApp or Telegram at the number: +7 925 857-02-77.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.

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