Deaf News: Deaf people to quiz disability minister at first fully accessible political debate

Posted on February 23, 2015

Deafness and Hearing Loss Charity Action on Hearing Loss are hosting the first ever fully accessible debate between representatives of the three main UK political parties with full BSL translation, live captions and lip speakers.

Members of the Deaf community and people with hearing loss are being invited to the 2 March event, where they can quiz leading politicians on issues specifically relating to deafness and hearing loss.

The debate will be chaired by Guardian health correspondent and hearing aid wearer, Denis Campbell, and panellists are:

  • Mark Harper MP, Conservative, Minister of State for the Disabled People
  • Kate Green MP, Labour, Shadow Minister for Disabled People
  • Lord German, Liberal Democrat, Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Committee for Work and Pensions

Action on Hearing Loss’ Campaigner Tanvir Ahmed explains the event in the video below.

Panellists have been invited to participate since the Disability Minister’s portfolio is cross-Government, ensuring that all party representatives can answer questions and act on the wide range of issues that the audience might want to discuss. All questions will come from the audience.

Rob Burley, the charity’s Head of Public Affairs & Campaigns, said:

“We are excited to be holding this debate. No party has ever produced a manifesto in BSL for a UK General Election, so, as well as deaf people being able to quiz politicians on the night itself, we’ll be sharing a subtitled video with in-vision BSL interpretation as widely as possible afterwards.

“We’re also really pleased that Guardian journalist Denis Campbell will be Chairing the debate – he has plenty of experience of holding politicians to account and will bring with him a real insight into some of the issues that the audience might raise.”

The Deafness and Hearing Loss Hustings will take place in Westminster at One Birdcage Walk SW1H 9JJ, with the debate taking place from 7:30pm until 9:30pm. Doors open at 6:30pm for registration and refreshments.

The event will be covered by BSL translation, speech-to-text reporting, lip speakers and an induction loop.

Limited places are available so, if you would like to attend the debate, please register for a free ticket via EventBrite.

For those people who cannot attend, Action on Hearing Loss will be sharing a fully accessible video of the event afterwards, with BSL and subtitles, to ensure as many people as possible can benefit from the debate and make their vote count in the 2015 General Election.

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