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Archive for May, 2014

19 MayBDA – Calling for Evidence – UK Shadow Report UNCRPD

We need YOUR feedback and comments

Due to very short timescale, the British Deaf Association (BDA) is working with the “Reclaiming Our Futures” Alliance (RoF): UK Deaf and Disabled Peoples’ organisations . We want to include as many people’s experiences and evidence as possible which is why we would like your feedback by Thursday 22nd May so we can improve the evidence in our report.

We are fully aware that the deadline is this Friday so we would still value your organisation comments/feedback and also whether your organisation would be happy to be one of our signatories to support the BDA’s Appendix or Supplementary report to the RoF.

Please send any information to or post it in BSL in Dropbox– any input is greatly appreciated.



14 MayMinister for Disabled People announces review of impact of Access to Work on deaf people and suspends ’30 hour rule’

The Minister for Disabled People, Mike Penning MP, has today announced a review of the impact of Access to Work on deaf people.

The three month review will take place over the summer and involve key organisations working with and for deaf people.

The announcement follows the launch of the Work and Pensions Select Committee’s general inquiry into Access to Work.

The idea for the review was developed by the UK Council on Deafness and presented to the Minister by Stephen Lloyd MP, chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Deafness.

In a meeting with representatives of the UK Council on Deafness, the Minister also suspended the rule that has restricted deaf people’s access to communication support such as sign language interpreters.

The ’30 hour rule’ will not be applied to any new claims to Access to Work during the review. And anyone whose support was reduced due to the application of the rule can have it reviewed.

Describing it as “the arbitrary rule on 30 hours”, the Minister said he was not comfortable with it after UK Council on Deafness members and his constituents had told him about deaf people beginning to lose their jobs.

The rule said that someone needing more than 30 hours communication support a week could only claim at an hourly rate equivalent to a £30,000 salary. That is significantly below the market hourly rate for a sign language interpreter.

It means deaf people have been struggling to find communication support and therefore do their jobs. In some cases employers have been unable to keep their deaf employees.

Jim Edwards, chair of the UK Council on Deafness, said: “This is excellent news for deaf people who are in work or trying to find it. It’s also a great example of what deaf people and the organisations who work for and with them can achieve when we pull together.

“We now look forward to working with the Minister to deliver the review. Mike was clear he cannot do it without us.

“The first step is to tell him about the other problems that are affecting deaf people at the moment. As well as suspending the 30 hour rule, there may be other immediate action he can take.”

07 MayNext Generation Text Relay Service

In 2011, Ofcom started a review of the provision of text relay for telephone customers. This was in the context of significant technological developments and to ensure access to voice telephony for people with disabilities that is equivalent to the level enjoyed by others.

Following the review and various consultation, in October 2012, Ofcom published a statement promising Read more of this article

01 MayOfcom publish first report on quality of TV subtitles


Ofcom have published the first report on the quality of live TV subtitles provided by broadcasters in the UK.  The reports are based on samples chosen by Ofcom from programmes broadcast by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and BSkyB in the news, entertainment and chat show genres.

Subtitles are used by over a million people with hearing impairments to watch TV.  Addressing concerns from viewers, Ofcom last year required broadcasters to start reporting on the quality of live subtitles to identify areas for improvement.

Today’s report samples the accuracy, speed and latency – the delay between speech and the corresponding subtitle appearing – of live TV subtitles. It is the first of four reports on live subtitling Ofcom is producing over a two-year period.

Ofcom will shortly begin the next sampling exercise, covering programmes in April and May 2014.

Read More>>

1st Report (pdf)