Transcripts – BDA Chair responses

Posted on July 30, 2014

Both Terry Riley and Sylvia Simmonds’s transcripts can be read on this page.

Terry Riley:

1. What do you think the BDA currently does well?

Campaigning For Improved quality of life on behalf of the deaf community by having regular meetings with

* UK Government and Opposition

* All Party Parliamentary Group on Deafness

* Other deaf & disability organizations

* Meetings with DWP and other Government departments and bodies

* Working with Other National deaf organizations

* Spit the Dummy BSL Act group.

* Deaf Access to Telecommunications Group and Ofcom

The BSL Charter being adopted as a blueprint for local council community action

National Reports on BSL ACT, ATW, Deaf Education, Interpreters, Health and other ongoing local issues.

Deaf Heritage project.

Deaf Roots and Pride Project

More BSL contents on BDA website

BDN revamp more visual

BDA’s other successful local projects in the UK.( Example)

Building up a healthy Pension Fund to protect BDA future.

Strong budgets and monitoring keeping BDA financially secure

Documented evidence from the Deaf community given to the Government and Civil Servants and relevant departments

Managing our core services on NO government income

Superb support of the Members of the BDA

2. What do you think the BDA needs to improve on?

Communicating and Interacting more with it’s members and Deaf community

Doing more work for young deaf children, Deaf BSL Ushers, Ethnic groups.

Improve balance of politics and Social Activities especially during the 125 celebrations due in 2015

Being more visual to the wider community about our linguistic culture

More Social Activities

Being on the BDA 100 year Brighton centenary committee gave me an insight into how much work is involved, I am now retired. I have proven experience of ensuring the logistics; outcomes are successful, and delivered on time all working together.

Getting the deaf community involved and be a part of the celebrations, celebrating our history and culture.

I am also hoping we can have a BSL Celebration March, these can be held in the major cities of the UK and with a final one in London by the Houses of Parliament, or along the Embankment, we need to get both Parliament and Police permission.  Local committees set up. I already have some volunteers signed up.

Generating more project funding income to carry out more work with the local community.

3. What are your priorities for the BSL community?

Leadership Training

To establish a project to find and support the new leaders of tomorrow linked with FE, and Buisness colleges

To have a sense of community, working more and with, and not for them.

Deaf Education

This is a major task as we really have no evidence of how deaf children are succeeding or failing in education We have the NDCS reports which are alarming, but we need more evidence, my desire to have qualified and independent research into Deaf education which the Government have to take notice of

Complete the research in to ATW, Standards and Training of Interpreting

A more diverse and active BDA members advisory groups (SIG) where we can get meaningful guidance and advise on the direction of the BDA

Going out to the community to work WITH and alongside the membership, listen and to take note.

Completing independent research projects in the Deaf Community like the Deaf Perspective of the BDA.

Agreeing the strategy at the Manchester AGM with the members

Increasing the membership and making joining the BDA something to go for.

Working with local deaf groups as it has a direct impact.

Pay off Pension Liability Leaving a legacy for the future

4. What partnerships would you look to establish?

I am now in consultation with the BDHS and ASLI to draw up Agreements on how we can work together with MOU’s. Others are being discussed. Working with local deaf organizations /groups that’s share our visions.


Deaf Parents Deaf children, CODA, Sign Circle, and many others.

A major task of the proposed BSL Alliance, is collating information, and evidence, and as Chair, I am committed to getting research evidence on the standards of Interpreting, ATW, and Deaf Education, along with our other excellent BDA projects in the regions, where we have been working with the decision makers at local and region levels.

We need this to prove to the Governments and decision makers that we need changes and NOW. We cannot force change unless we have the evidence; this is what they insist on. No longer can we just say we know it’s happening, We have to prove it.

The main focus is always with the Community, for the 125 Possible Gala weekend, Working with EDDJ, And UK Sports and BDSC along with local deaf groups / theater/ social, it’s going to be a partnership for all.

This is the biggest and most important partnership is with you.

5. How will your past experience help the BDA if you become Chair?

The BDA has to be run effectively, and with my proven business skills in management and finance, I have put this into practice.

At the BBC, I managed a team of 30 staff of different diversity and skills, developing good management practice, and employment knowledge. With the board support, I set up a Board Risk Register, allowing us to adjust if changes are needed, enabling us to monitor our progress and strategy.

We have had brainstorming weekends re the present / new 2015-18 Strategies. As part of the strategy we are looking at ADA’s and asking do they meet the needs of the Deaf community now with demise of the old networks?

A changing need and society require a new direction.

We need a clear strategy re England similar to the Scottish BSL act and the Road map in Northern Ireland re the BSL/ISL (N.I.) Act.

With my See Hear / BSLBT experience I have prepared, and been responsible for Budgets of £1.5- £2.0 million pounds, within deadlines, and budgets.

I now have the time to commit to ensure that my last three years as Chair will secure the BDA long term for the next new Chair in 2017.


Sylvia Simmonds

Good evening.

Limping Chicken asked me the 5 questions.  I shall go through each question.

Question 1 – What BDA has done well in the past

Extremely well with pension that the Board of Trustees and chair showed determined to ensure to pay the money back into the pension company they have committed with and expect to continue to so.

Secondly, developing strategies planning BDA 2013 – 2016 linked with the core value I expect this will be continue that is good.

Question 2 – What you think the BDA needs to improve in future

I have some members sent and informed me that they express their concern regarding Area Council – some is workable and some are not workable.  This need to look at this matter and need to change.

Secondly regarding the social events belong to Deaf community gathering BDA need to look at people organisation that need to be back.

Secondly, social especially children activities i.e. crèche in the past there has some provision however nowadays it does not provide this need to look at this especially youth related to organise with them.

Thirdly, senior citizen it seems to fade away – need to back like old times.  Need to look at all ages to get full access with BDA. Also education need to develop via working partnership.

Partnership is crucial – need to stop duplicate work – to work together this must such as Government cut the funding mean all deaf organisations cut theirs as well.  Trying to work what is existing work achieved to avoid duplicate work to improve the partnership.

Question 3 – What is BSL community priority

I would like to use the consultation process what BSL community want to see BDA, work together, want them to join BDA members.  If we plan and decide ourselves they would not join us as BDA members.

Their input and contribution what they want, work together that can pararell together with both joint together between BDA Boards, staffs and members.

Question 4 – what is partnership needs

I have already answered this question in earlier.  I said deaf organisation too many numerous.  BDA is definitely key deaf organisation led in the Europe – European Union of Deaf (EUD), World Federation of Deaf (WFD) and United Nation (UN).  There is 4 ladders (Deaf Organisation – EUD-WFD-UN).

All deaf organisations (UK) need to partnership together such as NDCS, Hearing Concern, Action of Hearing Loss, various national organisations, also regional such as SONUS, Gloucestershire Deaf Association,  Birmingham Institute of Deaf, Scotland and Northern Ireland all isolated – why not to bridge together they have their own to bring together that can linked with Area Council.

This need to be carefully strategic planning – carefully thought planning – who decide? You as members then pass to Board of Trustees to discuss to lead the members to decide what you want.  Tell us.  I will develop, without you all we cannot survive.  Important you as member.

Partnership is members too, need to encourage more to drive.

Question 5 – How my experience will benefit the BDA

Looking back my time as BDA vice chair this time it is difficult with financial struggling we focus the reform to survive the BDA such as Southport Congress (2007) it was very few numbers of members attended we kept going and encourage members with open and honesty contribute influenced the change of sign community to British Deaf News, more visual pictures in BDN, looks at staff reduction matched the budget issues to make sure to stay finance healthy that is vital – key is to stability, partnership with members, young people, senior citizens, everybody need to be involve.  What I did in the past.

Future? Up to you BDA members – I am keen to work together, do not want to see any critical  BDA, not bother BDA – how we know – You tell us.  My strength is that I am listening you signing me, if you do not want or problem I welcome with open discussion.

Thumb up and pause with smile.

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