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Archive for December 18th, 2014

18 DecA vision, mission and values for the deaf sector

A vision, mission and values for the deaf sector have been defined as part of UK Council on Deafness work to find a common purpose for the sector.

They are the first parts of a statement that will be the basis for collective work by organisations concerned with deafness.

The next step is to decide what the priorities for collective action will be. They will be the main point of discussion at the next stakeholder meeting in February 2015.

When the statement is complete, organisations will be asked to sign up to it. By doing so they will commit to the vision, mission, values, priorities and principles of partnership working.

Any organisation concerned with deafness may become a signatory. The statement will use ‘deaf’ to refer to people who are deaf, Deaf, deafblind, deafened and hard of hearing, whatever their chosen mode of communication or response to their deafness.

If you are interested in being involved in this work, please contact Dan Sumners via dan.sumners@signature.org.uk.

Vision

A world that benefits from deaf people being able to fulfil their potential.

Mission

To realise our vision we will work with deaf people to make sure they have equal access to all aspects of society by

  • making sure access is available in the most appropriate languages and modes and means of communication for the individual;
  • raising public awareness of deafness, the challenges faced by deaf people, the needs they have and the contribution they make;
  • making sure government and others fulfil their obligations under legislation such as the Equality Act 2010 and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities;
  • making sure deaf people can access all public services, giving special attention to education, health and social care, policing and justice;
  • making sure the education of deaf people is delivered in environments which maximise academic and social development and attainment;
  • making sure deaf people can access employment and training in environments which maximise professional and social development and attainment;
  • improving the quality of services for deaf people, including assisting the development of technologies that improve access for and to deaf people;
  • improving the quality and availability of information, advice and guidance for deaf people, and parents and carers of deaf children;
  • making sure deaf people are central to discussions about issues affecting their lives, in particular the development of services;
  • improving the education and training available to professionals providing services to deaf people; and
  • preventing avoidable deafness by educating the public about the value of hearing and how to protect it.

Values

In carrying out our mission we will

  • collaborate: work together;
  • be creative: explore new ideas and approaches.;
  • use evidence: base our work on the best research and the experiences of deaf people;
  • be inclusive: seek to involve all interested organisations and individuals in our work;
  • have integrity: be open and honest about our work; and
  • have respect: have due regard for the different views of individuals and organisations involved in our work.

18 DecUK Council on Deafness welcomes changes to Access to Work

The UK Council on Deafness has welcomed the Minister for Disabled People’s announcement of immediate changes to Access to Work.

David Buxton, chair of the UK Council on Deafness Access to Work group and chief executive of the British Deaf Association, said: “In particular, we are glad people will soon be able to contact Access to Work via email. It will mean deaf people will no longer need to keep explaining why they can’t speak to advisers on the telephone.

“We also look forward to the publication of user-friendly guidance and better data about how the scheme is performing. Whilst the guidance will be of immediate benefit to people who rely on the scheme, the performance data will help us all to better understand who it is helping and how.

“However, these changes must only be the beginning. Lots more needs to be done. For example, whilst email contact is a good step – although perhaps a little behind the times – people should be able to contact Access to Work and submit information via an online portal.

“And we can’t forget deaf people are still facing problems. The Minister draws our attention to improvements that have been made, but UK Council on Deafness members are still being told of people being refused the interpreting support they need.

“Self employed people are refused on technicalities, the 30-hour rule is still being applied to some people, second interpreters are not funded and awards are made that don’t take into account the market rate for interpreters. All of which means deaf people at risk of losing their jobs, or not getting them in the first place.

“We believe the Minister and the Department want to get this right. So we look forward to working with them to finish their review and begin to make the changes that will help this scheme help deaf people to fulfil their potential.”