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Archive for February, 2015

25 FebCelebrating National Cochlear Implant Day

Today, 25th February 2015, is International Cochlear Implant Day celebrating this transforming hearing technology and it was on February 25, 1957, that French doctors performed the first cochlear implant in the world.

One of our members, The Ear Foundation started cochlear implants for children during February 1989 and it is fitting that this week that they have been handed the keys to their new building….The Ear Foundation now provides valuable services to help children, young people and adults to make the most of this amazing technology to develop communication skills and spoken language.

Their new building ‘SoundSpace’ will enable them to help even more families and the professionals that support them every day.

For full details please visit their website.

 Happy International Cochlear Implant Day!

24 FebcontactSCOTLAND-BSL

NHS 24 online BSL Video Relay Interpreting Service pilot launches phase 2


NHS 24 online BSL Video Relay Interpreting Service pilot, which aims to improve access to health services for people in Scotland who are Deaf, deafened or hard of hearing will launch phase 2 of this pilot service on Monday 2nd March 2015.

The new extended online interpreting service, re-branded as contactSCOTLAND, will allow Deaf people throughout Scotland to use BSL to make contact (webcam/signing) with public services, such as, their Doctor, Police Scotland, Council Services, Housing, Social Work and NHS 24. It is NOT for Emergency 999 calls.

Christopher Jones, Chair of Deaf Access to Communications commented:

“As Chair of DAC, I welcome this very much as a positive move towards provision of accessibility and equality for Deaf people in Scotland. We do need similar schemes for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. These services are essential to the health and well being of Deaf people without which could have some serious implications.”

More information on how the BSL Video Relay Interpreting Service will work can be found on the contactSCOTLAND website at


17 FebSurvey about BSL / English Interpreter

Please help the BDA by completing the survey for its research.

The DEADLINE is 25th FEBRUARY 2015

Further information is available at:

A copy of the report will be available upon request at the end of the survey.

16 FebImproving Experiences for d/ Deaf Patients

Why do we need to improve the quality of interpretation and translation services?

We know that people who have difficulty in communicating their health issues and needs to primary care providers because of language barriers, including because they are d/Deaf, have worse health outcomes.

Providing high quality interpretation and translation services is an important part of ensuring that patients receive the right care, with informed consent, and have improved health outcomes.

NHS England is reviewing how patients who are Deaf or do not speak English as a first language, use interpreting services so they can access the best care and information.

To achieve this, we will engage with those patients so we can articulate what a good quality service looks like.

North of England Commissioning Support (NECS) with support from University of Manchester (SORD – Social Research with Deaf people) and Education Partnerships UK/Trescom (for community/spoken languages) will with NHS England facilitate the co-production of a set of quality standards with patients and clinicians which, when implemented will help to ensure that we reduce health inequalities in primary care settings.

Quality Standards of Interpreting Services in Primary Care Briefing  (pdf)

For further information or to participate in the review please contact:

10 FebDeafness and Hearing Impairment

Refusing people hearing aids – a parable for Britain’s short-term health policy

Austerity economics across the NHS may save money now, but it causes real hardship and the costs will be felt for years to come……….’

A recent article in The Guardian by Jackie Ashley (the Guardian’s columnist and political interviewer) on NHS reforms and hearing loss provides excellent reading, useful links together with a comments section.

Read the full article