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Deaf Charter Signed In Nottinghamshire

10 June 2014
Staff, service users, volunteers and carers met with members of Nottinghamshire’s Deaf Communities on 7th May 2014 to witness Mike Cooke, Chief Executive, and Sheila Wright, Trust Vice-Chair, sign the British Deaf Association’s British Sign Language (BSL) Charter on behalf of the organisation.
The event, which took place at the Nottinghamshire Deaf Society, was a public demonstration of the Trust’s commitment to the Charter’s aims. The Charter is designed to help eliminate unlawful discrimination (both direct and indirect), advance equality of opportunity and ensure good relations with Nottinghamshire’s Deaf Communities. It is also intended to empower local Deaf Communities, increase awareness of Deaf and BSL issues and encourage Deaf people to get involved in the health and wellbeing agenda. The Charter requires the Trust to work towards five key pledges:
  • Ensuring access for Deaf people to information and services
  • Promoting learning and high quality teaching of British Sign Language Supporting Deaf children and families
  • Ensuring staff working with Deaf people can communicate effectively in British Sign Language
  • Consulting with our local Deaf community on a regular basis 
Mike Cooke said: “This was a fantastic evening; truly inspirational. Pledging to the Charter highlights our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. It builds on our existing good work in striving to ensure that our services meet the needs of all of the diverse communities we serve, including Nottinghamshire’s Deaf communities. 
“We work hard to create a culture where difference is valued and celebrated and where everyone who comes into contact with our services is treated fairly and with dignity and respect. This Charter formalises that commitment and I was very happy to sign it. It is great that we are the first provider of mental health services to do so.”
Positive magazine Page 10 and 11
Dr Terry Riley OBE, Chair of the British Deaf Association, whose organisation is responsible for developing the Charter and supporting its implementation, said “The British Deaf Association warmly welcomes the initiatives of Nottinghamshire Healthcare and hopes that other NHS Trusts will follow this positive example.” 
Two service users and two carers attended the event and found the recognition of the Charter by our Trust very positive. They believe this can further improve the experience of care for Deaf people and their carers and set an example for other public services and third sector organisations to follow. 
Catherine Conchar, Head of Equality and Diversity said: “The event was a huge success and a clear demonstration of the Trust’s commitment to and passion for Equality and Diversity, including Equality, Dignity and Respect for Deaf people.”
A group of service users from the Trust is hoping to work with Nottingham University Hospitals’ Emergency Department to improve access for Deaf people using the services.
(Extract from Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust "Positive" June 2014 magazine - page 10)

A copy of "Positive" magazine is available to download here.


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