Deaf News: Controversy as DWP removes reference to Scottish services for Deaf people in press release

Posted on January 22, 2016

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The Scottish newspaper The National has reported on a strange case of omission where a reference to accessible services for Deaf people in Scotland, which was given in a quote provided by a Deaf organisation, was removed by DWP.

The removal of the reference to Scotland made the quote look more favourable to DWP, because it referred to how Scotland has moved ahead when it comes to offering Deaf people access to key services.

Read the full story here: http://www.thenational.scot/news/dwp-censors-deaf-groups-reference-to-more-accessible-scottish-services.12664

Extract:

THE UK Government’s Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has been slated for removing the words “as they are in Scotland” from a quote in a 760-word press release on sign language services, claiming it would have made it too lengthy.

The DWP had been seeking support from deaf organisations for a new pilot scheme that will allow some benefit claimants to make calls to the department via a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter.

Jim Edwards, chairman of the UK Council on Deafness and chief executive of Signature, the deaf communication charity, told the DWP his organisation was “delighted” that it had “taken this step to open up access for deaf people who use BSL”.

In a comment given to the DWP press office, he added: “We trust the pilot will be successful and look forward to more government services becoming accessible, as they are in Scotland.”

However, when the official press release was published on the DWP website, the last four words were missing and all mention of Scotland deleted.

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Posted in: deaf news