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24 JanPRESS RELEASE

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”.

[End]
[1] https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jan/22/prison-death-tyrone-givans-deaf-hmp-pentonville

[2] Death in Prison: A national Scandal, https://www.inquest.org.uk/prison-report-2020

 

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 campaigns.email@hearingloss.org.uk – 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

Background

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

Programme

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 (https://youtu.be/ruifNflabkk) 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

25 NovBT rebrand Next Generation Text to Relay UK

BT launched  Relay UK today with a new and improved app.  It brings relay services for deaf, hard-of-hearing, and speech-impaired people right up to date with the latest app technology.

The service remains free to use for all UK mobile customers in the UK and the new app can be downloaded from the Apple Store or on Google Play for Android onto your smartphone, tablet or computer.

The Ofcom regulated service translates text to speech and vice versa with the help of a specially trained Relay Assistant based in one of BT’s contact centres around the country.

The new app offers an improved customer experience and new functionality. The technology, developed by BT, enables a user to easily make a call based on their own accessibility needs. The user can connect to calls by selecting one of three options: Type & Read, Speak & Read or Type & Hear.

To find out more about how it works, visit: https://www.relayuk.bt.com/

 

20 NovUKCoD Health & Social Care Conference

Colleagues from across the health and social sector came together with UKCoD member organisations last week for our annual UKCoD conference. This year the theme was “Creating a Dialogue: Person-centred Practice with D/deaf people in Health and Social Care” and BT once again hosted our conference, this time at BT Centre near St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

The conference began with a session focused on Talking to Government. Craig Crowley, Chair of UKCoD, led this session which included a presentation from Susan Daniels OBE, CEO National Deaf Children’s Society who spoke about the progress that’s been made and what it still to do. Dr Jagjit Sethi, Specialist Advisor to the Chief Scientific Officer, NHS England, also gave a presentation outlining her role and the ways in which the NHS is beginning to change, particularly in preparing to deliver their new Long Term Plan.
Read more of this article