Harrow Council has become the second London borough to sign up for the BSL Charter, which will ensure Deaf people across Harrow are given better access to council services.
The charter was signed by the leader of the council Councillor David Perry, Mayor of Harrow, Councillor Krishna Suresh, Chief Executive Michael Lockwood, President of Harrow United Deaf club Asif Iqbal and Dr Terry Riley OBE, Chairman of British Deaf Association (BDA) on 15 October 2015 at the Civic Centre. The signing was witnessed by council representatives of the different services and from the borough’s community groups.
The authority already has a strong partnership with the Deaf community and has recently worked with Harrow United Deaf Club to introduce British Sign Language videos on the council’s website signposting where they can access services.
The charter was created by the British Deaf Association with the aim of improving life for Deaf people by removing direct and indirect discrimination. It also aims to empower Deaf people as well as increasing awareness of British Sign Language (BSL) and Deaf issues.
Councillor David Perry, Leader of Harrow Council said:
“Deaf people can face challenges when accessing council services and I firmly hope that by signing this pledge we can remove any barriers Deaf people face when accessing services. This comes as a result of our strong partnership with Harrow United Deaf Club. By working together we have made a number of changes across the council to improve our services, which includes the introduction of British Sign Language videos on our website. Today’s signing is a further demonstration of our commitment to work closely with the Deaf community in Harrow, and with our staff.”
Deaf people face many barriers when trying to access information or services either through lack of awareness or language barriers. Harrow Council will now look to further improve and make services more accessible to the Deaf community by implementing the BDA’s five pledges:
- Ensure access to information and services
- Promote learning and teaching of BSL
- Support Deaf children and families
- Ensuring staff can community effectively in BSL
- Consult with local Deaf community regularly
Dr Terry Riley OBE, Chairman of British Deaf Association (BDA) said:
“BDA are delighted to announce that Harrow Council are now the second London borough to sign up to the BSL Charter. The charter is designed to empower local Deaf Groups to work in partnership with service providers and Deaf people and we commend them for doing this. We are really looking forward to working closely with Harrow Council to help improve access and rights for Deaf people who use BSL and encourage more consultation with the Deaf community living in the borough.”
Asif Iqbal MBE, President of Harrow United Deaf Club (HUDC) and BDA Trustee said:
“I am pleased that the council has signed-up to the BSL Charter especially in the BDA’s 125th Anniversary year. HUDC has been working closely with the council for some time to help make services more accessible for Deaf and hard of hearing residents. At Harrow Deaf Awareness Day 2013, one of the pledges that that Council made was to sign up to BSL Charter, and today that pledge becomes reality. I also applaud the council for making progress in meeting the pledges of the BSL Charter, including the recent launch of new BSL information videos about Harrow Council’s services. HUDC are looking forward to helping the council to implement the BSL charter.”
Harrow United Deaf club (previously known as Harrow Asian Deaf Club) was formed in June 2009 by its now President Mr Asif Iqbal MBE. The club provides support and assistance to the Deaf community and has successfully grown as one of the most popular deaf club in Harrow for opening its doors to other deaf communities as well as teaching BSL to hearing people. As a result of this success there is a great sense of pride on the clubs diversity and support for each other.
The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
Please note that the views of the writers are their own, and not necessarily the views of the Editor or site as a whole. Read our disclaimer here.
- Rayovac: Never run out of hearing aid batteries again by subscribing!
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out how to add Live Captions to Facebook Live!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- Hearing Direct: Online hearing aids
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Cast Theatre, Doncaster: The UK's the UK’s first fully BSL integrated pantomime
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Ozen: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Deaf Independent: Deaf care and support services
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- cSeeker: Deaf-led educational communication support service
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people