terptree: Why is consulting with the Deaf community so important?

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Monday, 26 March 2012

Why is consulting with the Deaf community so important?

As a service provider, consultation is a key part of the process when establishing new services or looking to make changes. terptree receive many requests from organisations who are wanting to do this but do not know how to start, so here are some important steps that will help.

Why is consultation so important?

- So you can gauge what the community wants and needs

- So that you can make your service tailor-made

- So that any relevant improvements can be made

- So that the Deaf community feel values and their views are appreciated and taken on board

Deaf people are highly unlikely to write a letter of complaint due to confidence in using English. British Sign Language (BSL) has a different grammatical structure to English e.g.

What is your name?

Your – name – what?

This means that for some Deaf people, it can be difficult to write this type of letter feeling confident that they have put across their point in the way in which they want to.

This means that if you had a face-to-face consultation, it offers the opportunity for open communication.

Don’t be worried that you will not be able to communicate, as we discuss later on – you can book an interpreter to aid communication.

Tips for consulting…

- Hold your event in an accessible place that the community are aware of and feel comfortable at, you could try contacting a local Deaf club

- If the audience are BSL users, book a BSL/English Interpreter, so that you can communicate clearly

- Inform the people attending that you have booked the interpreter

- Write any letters/posters/flyers in Plain English – simply getting the main points across

- Inform the following people about your event:

o Local Deaf organisations

o Charities

o Clubs

o Social Services Deaf Teams

o terptree: so that we can advertise this for your on our websites’ Public Events page

- Select and ask relevant questions about your service in terms of communication

- You could also set-up a video camera so that you can record the views of the people that attend

If you would like some support in consulting with the Deaf community, please get in touch – workplace@terptree.co.uk

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