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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 September 2007, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
Text-a-taxi for the deaf started
A new scheme to help deaf and hard of hearing people live more independent lives has started on Teesside.

The Middlesbrough Deaf Centre has teamed up with taxi operator Blue Line Taxis to help deaf people get out and about without relying on relatives.

Now they can send a text message to the operator via a dedicated number, 0795 873 0076 and request a taxi.

The service will then text back to say when the taxi will arrive. It is available seven days a week.

Gill Marshall, co-ordinator at the Middlesbrough Deaf Centre, said: "It may seem a very simple idea, but this is a real breakthrough for deaf and hard of hearing people.

"Rather than waiting for a friend or carer to call the taxi for them, they can choose when they want to call a taxi."

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