A snapshot of some current activities

We are working with DWP, Access to Work, Job Centres, NHS England, Sensory support organisations around the country, Universities in the UK, Europe and the US, and suppliers in the following areas:

  1. Employment
    We are seeking to improve our support for job seekers who have any level of hearing loss many of whom have lost jobs and have to reapply. This often happens after the person has missed out on information re-training opportunities available to others who do not have communication barriers, a further disadvantage when competing for scarce jobs.
    For more information
  2. Education
    We want to raise awareness of the support available for young Deaf people accessing Higher education. UKCoD has initiated a campaign to improve knowledge of the DSA (Disability Student Allowance). This is available for students with a hearing impairment in Year 13 who are applying for university placements.
    For more information
  3. Telephone Relay Awareness
    We encourage and support users to report specific instances of failure to comply with Accessibility Standards of the relevant regulators.
    For more information
  4. VRS999
    Following discussions over two years with Ofcom by UKCoD, RNID and Sign Health, we obtained a decision from them to require provision of a new VSR 999 emergency service for BSL users alongside the existing voice, SMS and Relay UK 999 services. It is scheduled to start in one year, in July 2022. Ofcom have recently announced a consultation regarding potential appointment of SLI to provide the VRS999 service. We will continue to work to ensure the system meets the needs of BSL users.
  5. VRS101
    We are in discussion with members to encourage more police forces to provide VRS services on 101 and are in contact with local police forces and will be liaising with the police nationally.
  6. Rehabilitation following Cochlear Implant
    We have supported use of a technique in the UK, developed by a University Medical Centre in the US, which assists post-operation cochlear treatment. The technique provides objective cues specific for each patient to indicate what setting changes will lead to better performance. Experience in the US shows that over 90% of patients prefer the settings resulting from use of the technique. While initial results in the UK have been encouraging we expect progress to continue slowly.
  7. Accessibility in the NHS
    We have been following up with the NHS team responsible for GP contracting within the NHS England Improvements Team regarding the problems experienced with remote GP appointments for people with a hearing loss. We welcome the NHS review recommending changes to their commissioning of BSL interpreters and look forward to hearing when they propose to implement them. We have included both a summary of the recommendations and their full report. on this website which you can access via the link below. When implemented the recommendations will be a great step forward for the BSL community. We continue to press for improved accessibility to the NHS for the millions of other deaf patients who do not use BSL.
    For more information
  8. BSL Act Private Members Bill
    We have been following up with linguistic specialists and hope to be able to support and strengthen the provisions included in the prospective BSL private member’s bill submitted by Rosie Cooper MP, and making the BSL Act more effective in promoting and protecting the continued use of BSL.
  9. Website
    Our old website had reached the end of its useful life and was difficult and unreliable to update. We developed this new website out of the public view. While development will continue It has now replaced the original website. It has been a major job. Our thanks go to our volunteers Mark, Mary and Rebecca. We could not have done it without them.
  10. Disseminating information
    Our new website enables us to include video. We are delighted to include updates from specialists who presented at conferences on a) the use of object audio techniques in broadcast, and b) video-on-demand subtitling. Thanks to our volunteers Lenka, Paul and Trustee, Sheila we have been able to include subtitles and BSL support.