On Tuesday 3 December 2019, to mark and celebrate International Day of Disabled Persons, City of Wolverhampton Council hosted an event in the City Suite, Civic Centre. The Mayor of Wolverhampton, Councillor Claire Darke, led the celebration alongside ourselves, The British Deaf Association and representatives from the community. There, they shared key messages, including our combined commitment to ensuring people with disabilities have access to and are able to shape public services.

During the event, The City of Wolverhampton Council was awarded a certificate for their commitment to Pledge Five by the British Deaf Association. This award focused heavily on:

  • ensuring access to information and services for deaf people;
  • promoting learning and high quality teaching of British Sign Language (BSL);
  • supporting deaf children and families;
  • ensuring staff working with deaf people can communicate effectively using BSL;
  • consulting with the deaf community on a regular basis was paramount.

Angela Davies, Chair of Wolverhampton Homes Board, and Mike Porter, Vice Chair of the Disability in Action Group, attended the event alongside local tenants and residents. During the celebration, Angela and Mike signed up the British Deaf Association’s Charter for British Sign Language – Pledge One.

Angela Davies, Chair of Wolverhampton Homes, said:

We have a strong commitment to equalities and it was a great pleasure to be at the event to sign up to the British Deaf Association's British Sign Language Charter – Pledge One. Together with the council and our community partners, we've been proactive in engaging the deaf community in reviewing and developing services, as well as looking at ways in which we can share resources.

Damian Barry, Executive Director of British Deaf Association, said:

Our Charter for British Sign Language encourages local councils and service providers to meet between one and five pledges, and in doing so, help eliminate unlawful discrimination, support equal opportunities and build good relations with the deaf community.

Hearing loss affects over 11 million people in the UK; that’s one in every six people. By 2035, more than 15.6 million people will have hearing loss, a fifth of the population, and by signing this charter we have underlined our determination to further improve the service we offer to members of the deaf community in Wolverhampton.

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