Read Hear

Equality Training at the House of Commons

E-learning on disability equality is up and running in the House of Commons thanks to an interactive tool, developed by Disability Rights UK and deaf-led company WideAware.

The tool, which can be accessed by MPs and parliamentary staff, offers training on how best to interact with disabled visitors to the Houses of Parliament, a check list for arranging fully accessible events and guidance on understanding disability and the Equality Act 2010.

Maria Zedda from Wideaware said the in-house resource will help Parliament in its efforts to "engage with all members of the electorate".

John Borley, who is Disability Champion and Director of Facilities at the House of Commons, said it was a good learning tool for people wherever they were on their "journey" of interacting with disabled people.

Identifying Deafblindness in Older People

Deafblind charity Sense has received almost £170,000 from the Department of Health's Innovation, Excellence and Strategic Development Fund (IESD), to promote its work on the early identification of sight and hearing loss among older people.

The charity will use the grant to present its early recognition screening tool to residential care homes in England and to provide advice and training to health and social care professionals.

CEO Gillian Morbey said: "We want to make sure that healthcare professionals and families spot the signs of dual sensory loss and realise that many of the solutions are simple, inexpensive and make a real difference".

Sense suggests simple strategies such as using a loop hearing system, large print newspapers and different coloured plates to help people with dual sensory impairment.

IESD was set up to provide funding to support proposals in the health and care field and has recently allocated £5.5 million to a variety of social enterprises and small community groups.

The fund will re-open for applications in summer 2013.

Honour for STAGETEXT Founder

Peter Pullan MBE, one of the founding members of theatre captioning company, STAGETEXT, is to receive this year's Heather Jackson award.

Peter established the company in 2000 along with fellow deaf, theatre enthusiasts, Merfyn Williams and Geoff Brown.

Frustrated at being unable to access the spoken or sung word in the performing arts; they set about persuading theatres to include captioned shows in their productions.

Thirteen years on and with the support of a grant from the Arts Council, STAGETEXT provides captioning and live speech-to-text services to theatres and other arts venues all over the UK.

"I am thrilled to have helped create an organization that has brought so much happiness to many deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people who were previously excluded from the arts," said Peter.

The Heather Jackson Award is presented annually to a deafened person who has made a significant contribution to the improvement of the welfare and opportunity of deafened people.

Launch Party for Youth Club

A new youth club for deaf young people, aged 11-19 years old, will open in Bristol next month. Staff at the club, which will be run in partnership with Bristol City Council and The Family Centre (Deaf Children), will be a mix of BSL users and oral communicators and any deaf young person is encouraged to attend.

The club will be having a launch party on April 13 from 11.30am to 2pm at the Station, Silver St, Bristol BS1 2AG. This will be an opportunity for young people to share their ideas on activities and what they want from the club.

Farewell from Read Hear

This is the final edition of Read Hear - a service that has been providing information and news to the deaf community for 30 years.

Read Hear would like to take this opportunity to thank all its viewers and contributors for their valuable input and to wish them well in the future.

Deaf and disabled news can be found on the Ouch! website at:


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