Currently, 10 million people in the UK have some form of hearing loss. More than 800,000 of this population are either severely or profoundly deaf but the number of people able to communicate with them does not reflect this.
National charity and the UK’s leading awarding body in deaf communication qualifications, Signature, claims that in order to offer a better service for deaf people more businesses, whether in the public, private or voluntary sector, need to employ staff who can communicate with them.
We are encouraging employers to train their staff in basic Irish Sign Language (ISL) at Irish Deaf.com to create a welcoming, non discriminatory environment for those with hearing loss.
Jim Edwards, Chief Executive of Signature said: “With one in six people in the UK experiencing some form of hearing loss, it is essential more companies address their corporate social responsibility and recognise the importance of sending staff to local education providers who offer Signature Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications in ISL.
“The number of people with hearing loss is set to grow substantially over the next ten years due to an ageing population and we need to encourage more people to actively learn how to communicate with deaf people.
“ISL is a life skill for both deaf and hearing people and can open up opportunities for integration into a whole new language and culture.
“Our vision is to create a fully open and accessible society for deaf and deafblind people.”
Signature’s Ofqual accredited qualifications are available at over 500 education centres across the UK. Signature offers new ISL learners a wealth of support materials, including an online homework package so students can easily continue their studies outside the classroom.
Further information about Signature can be found at www.signature.org.uk