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May 2024

Deaf Access to Communication appoints Chair

In October the Deaf Access to Communication special interest group was established by UKCoD to carry forward work related to relay services and the Communications Act review.  The group sought to appoint a chair who would help it forward in these two areas of challenge.  Sandra Verkuyten OBE, previously chief executive of the Hearing Aid Council, has been appointed to the role of chair.

Sandra talks of the role with real passion and commitment ‘I am delighted to have been appointed as Chair of DAC.  I look forward to bringing my experience working in regulation, with government, and in the private and voluntary sectors to the DAC campaign, and to working with the members of DAC and our key stakeholders to significantly improve access to modern day communications for the deaf and deafened community.’

Jim Edwards, Chair of UKCoD, expressed his delight at the appointment ‘ Sandra has extensive experience of leading in a regulated environment and has major successes as a consumer champion under her belt.  She will bring focus and new dimensions to the campaign.  I am really looking forward to working with her.’


Sandra Verkuyten

Current Board appointments:

National Registers for Communication Professionals Working with Deaf and Deaf/Blind People
• Working to prepare registers for Government’s new ‘voluntary assured’ accreditation

British Kidney Patient Association
• Charity Trustee
• Member of Investment and Finance Committee, tasked with increasing funding in very tight economy

Previous Board appointments, include:

South West Essex Primary Care NHS Trust (2009)
• Ministerial appointment
• Board member during period of significant overspend and financial pressures and damning

CQC and Monitor assessment of local acute trust
• Reported to board on assurance visits to local acute trust

In addition Sandra has significant experience in Executive roles in health, employment and a regulator.

DAC is…..

A UKCoD special interest group focusing on access services to broadcasting and telecommunications to ensure that deaf people can connect with others and take advantage of all that modern communication networks have to offer.  DAC brings together a number of organisations and interested individuals.