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27 MarBSL Costings Inquiry Group – Statement

Recent work with the All Party Parliamentary Group on Deafness (APPGD), by members of UKCoD, regarding an Inquiry into the cost of BSL recognition stalled due to lack of resources and change of government following the election in 2017.

A group, supported by UKCoD has agreed to scope a study on the ‘Delphi’ principles, as a viable and cost-effective alternative to a formal APPG Inquiry. The study would seek to ensure:

  • Good sectoral engagement and commitment
  • Good use of existing data
  • Developing a solid understanding of the ‘costs of BSL recognition’ for presentation to government.

The group also supported a proposal to draft a Private Members Bill as a parallel activity, it was agreed that it would be useful if members of this group could provide copies of drafts they may have prepared.

The chair of the APPG on Deafness, has raised a parliamentary question over which government department is responsible for BSL, the Leader of the House of Commons has agreed to seek clarification on this point.

The group is to meet again in two months’ time to discuss finalising the strategy and funding.

26 MarDeaf Awareness Week 2018

Deaf Awareness Week - some facts

Deaf Awareness Week will take place 14th – 20th May and you can find posters and our Press Release now available for downloading on our publicity page.

Craig Crowley, Chair of the UK Council on Deafness, states: “This year’s Deaf Awareness Week is an excellent opportunity showcasing our members proactively raising awareness of Deafness and hearing loss as well as promoting and championing the many organisations that support Deaf, hard of hearing, deafened and Deafblind in the UK”.

Read more>>

21 MarUKCoD Thank Efforts of Employment Group Members

The UKCoD Board would like to acknowledge and thank the members of the UKCoD Access to Work/Employment Group for their valued contribution and commitment in the build up to our persuasive and successful campaign with DWP regarding the Access to Work cap.

They are as follows:

Darren Townsend-Handscomb – DeafATW (Chair)
Martin McLean – National Deaf Children’s Society
Bob Marsh – Clarion Employment Service
Sally Paull – Positive Signs
David Buxton – Disability Action
Paul Lennon – Network Rail
Rob Geaney –  Action on Hearing Loss (AoHL)
Rowena Stobart – AoHL
Jim Edwards – Independent
Lidia Best – National Association of Deafened People (NADP)
Dan Sumners – Independent
Bob Birchall – Deafness Support Network
Lindsey Jane Rousseau – NATSIP

The UKCoD Employment Group played a huge role and gave endless positive support and commitment throughout the whole process.

Our sincere thanks also to Positive Signs, Disability Action, Network Rail, Deafness Support Network and NATSIP together with those who have worked independently with us, Jim Edwards (former Chair of UKCoD) and Dan Sumners (former UKCoD APPG on Deafness secretariat).

This is one example of how membership with UKCoD proved invaluable and allowed us to be heard as one voice for all within our sector.

Once again, our sincere thanks our members for this much needed united support.

We hope our work continues to strengthen the future for many within the sector which in turn secures all our futures.

Why not join us to become part of the winning team!

21 MarA Message from UK Council on Deafness Chair, Craig Crowley

Craig CrowleyFor a number of years the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has been seeking to reduce the expenditure of its Access to Work Programme in order to safeguard public resources.

In 2015 the DWP set a budget cap of £43,100 (1.5 times average earnings) for an individual Deaf person using Sign Language Interpreters, which was to come in to final force on the 1st of April 2018.

UKCoD has been in discussions with the DWP highlighting the effects of the reduction in expenditure, particularly a cap on the ATW funding for individuals.  UKCoD has articulated that this limit would prevent Deaf individuals reaching the pinnacle of their profession and would stifle the aspirations of younger Deaf people.

The sterling support from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Deafness led by Jim Fitzpatrick MP, the excellent work of Darren Townsend-Handscomb, DeafAtW, the Employment Sub-Group and a number of prominent Deaf individuals (one of such is Toby Burton, Chief Finance Officer for The Economist), has paved the way for the Minister of Disabled people, Sarah Newton MP, to announce that the Government will increase the cap of ATW funding per individual to £57,200 (double average earnings).

The UKCoD Board of Trustees are delighted with this announcement and we look forward to future discussions with the government, through the APPG, about the many issues that affect the lives of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, Deafened and Deafblind people every day.

Sarah Newton MP Statement [pdf]

UKCoD Press Release

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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