RNID Guidelines for DDA speak louder than words

Thompson, Sherylin
November 2004
Management Services;Nov2004, Vol. 48 Issue 11, p16
Academic Journal
This article presents guidelines for the British Disability Discrimination Act developed by the Royal National Institute for the Deaf. If frontline staff do not have basic deaf-aware skills, it is giving the impression that the service or product being offered will not consider their needs either. There are a number of deaf and disability awareness training courses available. Sound policies can protect an organisation by providing clear and consistent guidelines for staff to follow. Organisations should review all their policies such as customer charters and equal opportunity policies to ensure that accessibility for disabled people is included wherever possible. For many people who use sign language, English is a second language with a completely different structure and grammar. Complex sentences and difficult vocabulary will isolate many deaf people. Organisations can very easily make information accessible by keeping all written material in plain English, making provision for contact by e-mail and ensuring that advertisements are not exclusively on the radio. Many deaf and hard of hearing people rely on some extent on lip reading and by placing the light in front of a reception area you could radically improve the environment for lip reading. Offering a quiet meeting room will help reduce background noise for a person wearing hearing aids.


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