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29 AugA common purpose for the deaf sector

We are asking for help to find a common purpose for individuals and organisations concerned with deafness and deafblindness.

We have designed a short survey that anyone working in the sector can respond to.

The initiative came about after Council members said a statement summing up what they are all working towards would be useful.

Jim Edwards, chair of the UK Council on Deafness, said: “In recent years our members and others working in the field of deafness and deafblindness have achieved a lot through cooperation. The recent DWP review of Access to Work is a good example, as is the support for Sir Malcolm Bruce’s proposed Communication Support (Deafness) Bill last year.

“So we’re starting from a strong position. There’s a lot we agree on. But the statement of common purpose will make that partnership even more effective. It will help us achieve the outcomes we want and deaf and deafblind people expect.”

The focus of the statement will be a clear vision and set of values. But it will also include a framework for working towards results, priorities for action and recommendations for working together.

The survey is open until Friday 12 September. There will then be some stakeholder events in November and December.

The statement will be promoted from early 2015. We hope it will provide a focus for individuals and organisations in the run up to the general election.

The common purpose initiative is overseen by a task force chaired by Michael Bishop, a UK Council on Deafness trustee. Its members are Brian Archbold, UK Council on Deafness trustee and former chief executive of The Ear Foundation; Carol Cole, Action on Hearing Loss trustee; Chris Cartwright, Key Projects Manager at Phonak UK; Craig Crowley, chief executive of Action Deafness; Gwen Carr, National Programme Lead for the NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme; Jane Cordell, small business owner and trustee of Disability Rights UK and Manchester Deaf Centre; and Jeff Skipp, chief executive of Deafblind UK.

It is advised by David Buxton, chief executive of the British Deaf Association; Steve Powell, chief executive of SignHealth; and Brian Lamb OBE, chair of the Alliance on Hearing Loss and Deafness and Achievement for All. And supported by Mike Elliott, previously chief executive and now trustee of the Clare Foundation; Jim Edwards, chair of the UK Council on Deafness and chief executive of Signature; and Dan Sumners, Senior Policy Adviser at Signature.

If you have any questions you can contact Dan Sumners via dan.sumners@signature.org.uk.

19 AugTell the NHS your views on plans to make information accessible

NHS England wants to know what you think about its plans to make health and social care information accessible.

A consultation document [PDF] and survey are now available online. Patients, service users and carers, health and care professionals and organisations, voluntary organisations, patient groups and communication professionals are encouraged to give their views.

We will be responding to the consultation. If you are involved with a UK Council on Deafness member organisation, you might want to speak to them about this consultation.

The information standard for accessible information will tell health and social care organisations how to make information accessible for disabled people. It explains the formats information should be available in and the support they should  offer.

This includes making information available in British Sign Language and providing communication support, such as sign language interpreters.

NHS England has been talking to organisations and individuals since November 2013. They used what they learned to write the draft standard. You can read the report of their engagement activity [PDF].

01 AugUKCoD Trustee Election 2014

Jim Edwards (Chair, UKCoD)

Jim Edwards, Chair UKCoD

At this year’s Annual General Meeting, three Trustees will have completed their first term of three years.  Caroline Player is standing down, but Michael Quinlan (Action on Hearing Loss) and Bencie Woll (DCAL) have indicated that they are happy to put their names forward for a further term of three years.  Brian Archbold (formerly of The Ear Foundation) will also be standing down at the AGM, as he will have completed his second term as Trustee.

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24 JulAdults urged to give their views on hearing services in England

Chief Executive of the UK charity Hearing Link, Dr Lorraine Gailey, is urging adults who have used NHS hearing care services to get hearing aids or other support to make their views known about the quality of the service they received.

Earlier this month, Health service regulator Monitor began a full review into how well the hearing care service model is working, with particular focus on whether the introduction of the Any Qualified Provider (AQP) model has improved the situation, and whether further improvements are needed.

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