COVID-19 and the lockdown so far

The conditional changes laid out by the Government on Sunday outlined smaller aspects of lockdown rules. These included unlimited exercise outdoors from Wednesday and access to outdoor parks and public places while social distancing.

Schools are potentially re-opening for some pupils from June 1st at the earliest. We look forward to the UK re-opening and safely returning to life after the lockdown. As we currently observe the latest safety information, we can’t provide all face-to-face language services safely and to the highest quality.

Going remote in lockdown

However, we have already seen an uplift in our remote service options:

These services have garnered more demand as businesses, councils and organisations have been forced to work remotely. DA Languages is incredibly proud to be able to support such great work of frontline workers during this time. We want to say thank you to our hard-working linguists for providing remote services and face-to-face interpreting when needed.

Similar to many businesses across the UK, DA Languages is looking to the future and planning for it. Many experts and government representatives have stated that going back to how things were is a long way off. Instead, a new normal will need to be established first.

Out of lockdown and into a new normal

We have already seen a part of this new norm with face-to-face interpreting beginning to rise in requests. As face-to-face interpreters are classified as key workers, DA Languages has made sure to provide them with the necessary documents to support any travel queries and continue to advise and instruct on all the latest safety information.

Our top priority is making sure our clients have access to the language support they need. We want to ensure their end-users and patients receive the best care and advice. When considering face-to-face appointments, we have been keeping communication open with all linguists and clients about how we can work together to continually guarantee safety for all parties.

Once the government lessens restrictions and the cases of COVD-19 fall, we look into establishing new safety measures. Our aim is to ensure that all involved continually feel safe booking and having appointments.

In the meantime, we understand that remote services are preferable in certain areas. We have seen an uplift with councils requesting our remote services as they are the non-medical arm of the COVD-19 response.#

Overcoming the continuing challenges of COVID-19

Caring for vulnerable people within the community can already be challenging with a language barrier, and doing it remotely can add to that. This is why DA Languages has been innovating and improving our remote service solutions. The effort is focused on quickly delivering services that work best for clients and their end-users.

Firstly, we have improved our robust video interpreting platform which is available on desktop and on mobile devices. Using the DA Languages video app allows you to connect to a linguist in under 30 seconds.

However, during this time we recognise that familiar platforms such as Skype, Zoom and WhatsApp are preferred. These have allowed for a quick transition to remote working. Due to this, we have made sure that you can access video interpreting via these online platforms.

Furthermore, we have also made telephone interpreting accessible via Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, WEBEX and WhatsApp. You can now connect to our friendly team via your online platform and a linguist will join your call. This service is great for when an interpreter is needed unexpectedly. Also, with increased use of our telephone interpreting app, there is an average connection time of under 20 seconds.

Both telephone and video interpreting have allowed for those in need to access services. They have also allowed the excellent front-line staff at the NHS and local councils to care for their communities without language barriers.

How translation can help accessibility in lockdown

Finally, our translation team has been working extra hard to service requests in a timely manner. This was heightened during the beginning of lockdown when a lot of safety information needed to be shared on short notice.

Our expert translators have been working with the NHS, local authorities, central government, charities and social workers to help provide information in a variety of languages. All of this can help reduce the demand on helplines and calls as FAQs, informative leaflets, websites and communications have all been translated. As a result, everyone has access to the same advice, support and information.

What’s next for DA Languages and COVID-19?

Overall, DA Languages has supported and will continue to support our clients during this lockdown and throughout the transition to the new normal and the lessening of restrictions, with continual communication with our clients, linguists, and staff. We look forward to coming out of this stronger and better than before.

If you are interested in any of our services email we’ll be happy to see how we can help!

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