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21 MarPress Release

We are pleased to see that the Department of Work and Pensions has decided to significantly raise the Access to Work cap. This will help deaf people whose first language is British Sign Language (BSL) to access the communication support so vital to enabling them to thrive and succeed in the workplace.

The increase in the cap to £57,200 from April 2018 means that many more people will no longer face restrictions that impact their ability to carry out their jobs. We welcome this development which will reduce the barriers people face when accessing vital support to work, but we believe it is important to continue to monitor the impact of the cap on those with highest needs.

We welcome the ongoing engagement that the DWP has had with the sector through the UK Council on Deafness and DWP’s commitment to work collaboratively with us to monitor the impact of the cap. We will work with Access to Work’s specialist team as it seeks to coproduce tailored workplace assessments, and to improve its advice to Deaf people and employers, including on the appropriate use of technology, and we are committed to continue working with the Department to explore how this scheme can work for all.

 

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05 MarOfcom Diversity and Inclusion Programme 2018 – 2022

Consultation 

Ofcom has recently consulted on its Diversity and Inclusion Programme 2018-2022.

Read DACs response here

02 MarHouse of Commons – Petition Debate

House of Commons first: live simultaneous BSL interpretation for petition debate

On Monday 5 March there will be a petition debate on making BSL part of the National Curriculum. The debate will be in Westminster Hall at 4.30pm.

For the first time, live in-picture interpretation for people watching live online will be available and a subtitled version will also be made available within hours of the debate.

Further details here

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

House of Commons first: live simultaneous BSL interpretation for petition debate

The Commons Petitions Committee has scheduled a debate in Westminster Hall on a petition calling for British Sign Language (BSL) to be part of the National Curriculum.

The petition, started by Sign Language performer and TV and radio presenter Wayne Barrow, has so far been signed by more than 26,500 people. He grew up in Birmingham with profoundly deaf parents. In the petition, Wayne Barrow argues that “Around 50,000 people in the UK use British Sign Language, so why is this not taught in schools? There are many children who are born deaf, and we need to give them a better chance at a more integrated future.” Read more of this article

28 Feb3 March 2018: World Hearing Day

On World Hearing Day 2018, WHO will draw attention towards the anticipated rise in the number of people with hearing loss across the world with the theme “Hear the future”.

The key messages for this event will highlight the:

  • expected rise in prevalence of hearing loss globally over the coming years (based on statistical projections);
  • efforts that are required to stem the rise through appropriate preventive action;
  • need to ensure that people with hearing loss have access to the required rehabilitation services and the communication tools and products they require.

Further details and to register your event can be found here.

06 FebMeeting with Sarah Newton MP

Minister of State for Disabled People, Work and Health

– Cap on Access to Work Awards

Sarah Newton MPThe UK Council on Deafness and the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Deafness have held a positive meeting with the Minister for Disabled People, Sarah Newton MP, to discuss the cap on Access to Work awards.  The Minister described Access to Work as a fantastic scheme and indicated the Government desire to see it grow from year-to-year. She acknowledge that there were concerns around the cap and welcomed the meeting as a chance to hear the evidence from those affected.

Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Chair of the APPG, welcomed the meeting as a chance to re-open the dialogue with the Minister and highlighted the cross-party desire to re-establish the ability for Access to Work to support people at work whatever their work access needs. Stephen Lloyd, Vice-Chair of the APPG, notes the high unemployment rate which existed within the BSL community and said that there is an absence of role models for young deaf people. He argued that imposing a cap on Access to Work had the potential to knock the deaf community back and remove fifty years of progress. Read more of this article