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01 OctAction Deafness and Deaf Direct Merger

Action Deafness and Deaf Direct are delighted to announce a merger will take effect from 1st October 2019.

Watch BSL video of the announcement here.

The merger is an exciting opportunity for both organisations, two successful charities that share similar objectives and values, putting service-users at the heart of everything they do.

Working together to share resources, make cost savings, share knowledge, to offer a wider range of innovative services and create even more positive impacts in the lives of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deafened and Deafblind lives throughout in both catchment areas.

Karen Welch and Emma Allen – Joint Chairs of Action Deafness share this statement:

We are excited to be merging with Deaf Direct and extending the digital and innovative interventions we offer across our existing services and beyond. The combined expertise and knowledge of our staff will enable us to provide a wider range of services and reach out to more Deaf people that need support.

The two charities share many similarities including shared values and history of working together. This merger makes us a stronger organisation and enable us to campaign and address inequality more widely across the Deaf and Disability sector.”

Barry Ross, Deaf Direct Chair of Board of Trustees explains why Action Deafness is the right fit for them:

Action Deafness are a well-respected Deaf-led organisation in communications interpreting and community support. We’ve enjoyed working in partnership with them for the past ten months.

Merging with Action Deafness will enable us to continue to offer our high quality, innovative services in Worcester, Herefordshire and Oxfordshire and extend the range of support and development available for our staff.”

What will happen to Action Deafness and Deaf Direct?

From 1st October 2019, a new merged organisation will be Action Deafness. Deaf Direct will cease to be an independent charity as of 30th September 2019.

Deaf Direct based services will continue to use the name Deaf Direct locally as it is well known to local Deaf service-users and professionals.

Outside of this specific arrangement in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Oxfordshire, the merged organisation is called Action Deafness.

What will the merger mean for service-users, commissioners and wider stakeholders?

There will be no disruption to any Action Deafness services. Deaf Direct’s existing services and staff will be transferred to the merged organisation.

Action Deafness will take on leases for Deaf Direct’s current service sites ensuring services will continue to run from the same sites.

Both executive leadership teams are doing everything they can to ensure there is as little disruption to service users, commissioners and wider stakeholders as possible.

Finally, Craig Crowley CEO of the merged organisation states:

We are delighted the merger will be positive for everyone involved, in particular, local Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deafened and Deafblind people will continue to get the best possible support.

Staff from both organisations have been understanding and supportive of this approach.

We look forward to, growing, developing and providing quality services within our catchment areas with a sense of renewed optimism, focus and confidence”.

For more information please contact our HR & Communications Manager Charlotte Jefferies via email:


21 AugUKCoD Annual Conference

Monday, 11th November
at BT Centre, 81 Newgate Street, London EC1A 7AJ

bt centre

Creating a Dialogue: Person-centred practice with d/Deaf people in health & social care

This year’s UKCoD conference, hosted by BT, will bring together experts from across the health and social care sector to discuss what best practice looks like when working with people who are d/Deaf or have hearing loss.

The conference will include conversations between public sector bodies, regulators, providers, commissioners and UKCoD member organisations on the latest innovations in quality and co-production. Whether working with older people in social care settings and learning how best to include those with hearing loss, or ensuring access to health pathways for profoundly deaf people who use sign language, the conference will provide an interactive environment in which to share best practice and learn about what’s going on in the sector.

Full of tips and tricks to improve your own practice or provision, this is the ideal event for anyone working in health and social care, as well as staff or volunteers at UKCoD member organisations. UKCoD will also confirm its new strategy for the future as well as plans for Deaf Awareness Week 2020.

Tickets are limited so book now to take advantage of early bird pricing!

Book your place

Exhibiting Space is available – please contact Clare Long at for details

Gold Sponsors

SH_logo_24cmsignlive large logo

07 JunVideo Relay Service – VRS For All & 24/7 – Scotland



A great step forward for the the Deaf BSL Community in Scotland as on the 1st of June Contact Scotland BSL & Scottish Government/Health announced they are now VRS for all & 24/7!

Deaf / deafblind British Sign Language users and hearing people can now call each other instantly via an online BSL interpreter.

Quote form Clare Haughey MSP

 “…Now the service is being enhanced so that, for the first time, users will be able to contact anyone they wish and at any time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

    I’m delighted to be able to support this innovation to help the users of the service to live as independently as possible.”

Read More>>

17 MayStatement from the IFHoH and WFD


The World Federtion for the Deaf (WFD) and the International Federation of Hard of Hearing People (IFHOH) have issued a

Joint Statement: Automatic Speech Recognition in Telephone Relay Services and in Captioning Services

“The field of Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) has progressed significantly with the advancement of artificial intelligence technology. As a result, more applications that utilise ASR, and AI technologies are developed and have shown a promising impact on communication and accessibility. However, this field is emerging and the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and International Federation of Hard of Hearing (IFHOH) are documenting a small number of user experiences and cases using ASR technology. There needs to be continuing effort in research and development with deaf and hard of hearing par-ticipation to improve the uses and applications of ASR technology.

This joint statement is to inform that ASR should not replace current communication methods, such as Telecommunication Relay Services (TRS) and Captioning services.”

Read the full statement here [pdf]

15 MayA Message of thanks ….

From our Chair, Craig Crowley