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25 FebWorld Hearing Day 2020

Hearing for life: don’t let hearing loss limit you

3 March 2020

Announcement flyer for World Hearing Day 2020: Don't let hearing loss limit you, hearing for life

On World Hearing Day 2020, WHO will highlight that timely and effective interventions can ensure that people with hearing loss are able to achieve their full potential. It will draw attention to the options available in this respect.

Key messages for World Hearing Day 2020:

  • At all life stages, communication and good hearing health connect us to each other, our communities, and the world.
  • For those who have hearing loss, appropriate and timely interventions can facilitate access to education, employment and communication.
  • Globally, there is lack of access to interventions to address hearing loss, such as hearing aids.
  • Early intervention should be made available through the health systems

World Hearing Day 2020 advocacy material



The BBC Red Button Teletext Service has been saved from switch off after the NFBUK and British Deaf Association handed in a petition to the Director General of the BBC Lord Hall and to the Prime Minister Boris Johnson at 10 Downing Street on Monday 27th January 2020.

The petition is backed by 175 organisations from across the UK, which included Age UK, the National Association of Deafened People (NADP) and the National Association of Retired Police Officers.

The petition called for an immediate pause to the closure of the BBC Red Button Teletext Service, which is a vital lifeline for many disabled, older and vulnerable people across the UK and is a much loved service by many people across the UK.  The petitioners were met at the gates of 10 Downing Street by MP Damian Collins on Monday 27th January 2020, who took immediate action by writing to the Director General of the BBC asking for a halt to the switch off. Within 24 hours, Lord Tony Hall agreed to suspend the switch off and has agreed to meet with Damian Collins MP and campaigners on this issue.

  • Andrew Hodgson President of the National Federation of the Blind of the UK  ‘This is fantastic news, it is a victory for equality, diversity and disability and the NFBUK along with our fellow petitioners look forward to working with the BBC in an engaging and collaborative manner on this issue. The BBC Red Button teletext is a vital service for the people of Great Britain and is a lifeline to many disabled and elderly people across the nation. We would like to thank the Government and the BBC for listening and acting on the concerns raised.’
  • Sarah Gayton, Shared Space Coordinator from the NFBUK stated:  ’The NFBUK was extremely worried that the continuity of service would be broken, leaving many disabled and elderly people across the UK isolated and disconnected from society. We were being contacted by people who relied on this service for many reasons and we were fraught with worry what would happen to these people if the BBC Red Button Service Teletext Service was switched off on 30th January 2020.  People with autism, epilepsy, house bound, deaf people, people with poor or no internet, people who do not want the internet and many people who loved the simplicity of the service. It is clear that this service is a vital lifeline for people who need to consume news and information in a static form and not using a computer or a small smartphone device. This is a huge victory for the petitioners and the people they represent and it is very clear that this service should never be switched off.’

The NFBUK are asking for people to please contact them with their further personal stories of why they rely, use and love the BBC Red Button Teletext Service, which will be submitted to the BBC and the Government. Please contact NFBUK via voice telephone – 01924 291313, by voice or text to 07903 155858, via email to or or by post to NFBUK, Sir John Wilson House, 215 Kirkgate, Wakefield, West Yorkshire WF1 1JG.



Friday, 24 January 2020

Alliance of deaf charities condemns treatment of deaf inmates in prison

The coalition of deaf charities, the UK Council on Deafness (UKCoD) is seeking urgent action by prison service to improve their treatment of deaf inmates following a shocking new report.

In an article report on deaths in custody by the charity Inquest[1], The Guardian highlighted a story about deaf inmate Tyrone Givans, who took his own life after staff at Pentonville deprived him of access to his hearing aids.

Commenting on the report Craig Crowley, Chair of the UK Council on Deafness, said:

“It’s bad enough that the deaf community has to face daily barriers and isolation because of the low levels of deaf awareness across society and the lack of appropriate services which meet the tailored needs of deaf people. But for ignorant service providers to deprive us of our dignity through inhumane treatment is more than any community should ever have to endure.

“Cases like Tyrone’s underline the urgency of the work that the UK Council on Deafness and its members are doing. We will continue to challenge Government, public services, businesses and individuals members of society to understand and respect the lives of the deaf people in order to create a more inclusive society for our community”.


[2] Death in Prison: A national Scandal,


Download the PRESS RELEASE [PDF]

18 DecConsultation – BSL access 999 emergency

The regulator, Ofcom, have published a consultation setting out the case for the 999 emergency service phone line to be contactable in BSL.

Ofcom want feedback on
  • the need for BSL access to 999; and
  • to understand how the deaf community wants the service to work

Three BSL videos are available on the Ofcom Website and can be viewed here or you can read a transcript (PDF, 209.1 KB) of the three videos.

Details of how to respond back to Ofcom are also available on their website.

What UKCoD are doing 

To put pressure on Ofcom we need to demonstrate the barriers deaf people face. We need to show why text based solutions don’t work for BSL users. 

To gather this information, UKCoD have recently created a Facebook Group called BSL access 999 emergency

What can you do

  • Join the BSL access 999 emergency Group; and
  • Share your experience of access 999 – or your fears about having to access emergency services via a text service
  • Explain how access in BSL to the fire, police and ambulance would help

If you don’t have a facebook account or wish to share something in private 

Please e-mail us at – this will not be made public without your clear permission.

See Full details on our Facebook page.

29 NovUCL’s Summer School for deaf & hard of hearing (year 11 & 12) students

summer school 3


Deaf students are hugely under-presented in Higher Education (HE), ‘Discover UCL Summer School for D/deaf and hard of hearing (year 11 and 12) students’, a residential event, unique to UCL, aims to redress balance by equipping deaf students for university life. Approximately 15 students have attended each year, 62 in total since 2014.

The ‘Discover UCL…’ team deliver a programme to support deaf students’ preparation for university, developing confidence and skills to flourish in HE. This unique event has deafness at its core, every aspect is designed to benefit deaf students. It is also a commitment in UCL’s Access and Participation Plan (APP).

Note: APPs are contracts with the Office for Students, that outline how an institution will increase admission and retention of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

summer school 2


The summer school  is innovative and creative, drawing together groups of (internal/external) people who would never ordinarily work together, or previously encountered deaf people.

The programme ( includes practical information (e.g. UCAS statements), object-based learning sessions using UCL’s museum collections and PhD student talks on varied subjects. Deaf role model and current/former UCL deaf student talks convey career choices and barriers through personal stories to help students plan for university and careers. Disability services support sessions to provide practical guidance, explain access rights under the Equality Act 2010, and reassure students that UCL (and other universities) can support their access needs, and are legally obliged to do so. Academic ‘taster’ sessions are tailored to the interests of the cohort. To instil confidence and self-advocacy skills, students win prizes for requesting adjustments like asking interpreters to rephrase, reminding a speaker to use a radio aid transmitter. Read more of this article