Deaf awareness is improving but there's still a way to go

Deaf awareness is improving but there's still a way to go

GDA BLOG POST

Deaf awareness among business is going in the right direction but there is still a long way to go. Despite more and more businesses taking steps to make their services more accessible by making reasonable adjustments - for example, using remore Sign Language Interpreting services such as SignLive, many organisations still do not have an understanding of what it means to be deaf.

GDA acts as a champion for deaf people in Gloucestershire and all too often we are made aware of situations where deaf people are being excluded from mainstream services simply because the right support and awareness are not in place.

Yesterday a British Sign Language (BSL) user approached us for support to access information from her bank. She asked us to communicate with the bank staff. Sadly the bank in question refused to pay for an interpreter and instead asked her to return back to the branch with her own device to use a remote interpreting service.

As a hearing society, we take for granted how easy it is to access services over the phone - changing insurance, making financial arrangements or even making a doctors appointment are all so much easier via a phone call.

For a deaf person, they are not able to access such services as easily. The person in question now has to find another two hours out of her time, once again, to visit the bank and pay for parking again, all because she is deaf.

Simple changes within an organisation can make the world of difference as to how accessible their services are. GDA offers a range of deaf awarenss training that can highlight those changes, break down the barrier between the deaf and hearing world, and explain what it is truly like to live with deafness.

In a modern world where everything is at our fingertips, should that not be the case for a deaf person too.

To find out more about making your business more deaf-friendly, contact GDA on 01452 372999 or email understanddeafness@gda.org.uk.