North East Derbyshire District Council has signalled its commitment to people with hearing difficulties by signing up to all pledges in the British Sign Language Charter.
The British Deaf Association's Charter for British Sign Language encourages organisations to meet a number of pledges, and in doing so improve access to services, support equal opportunities and build good relations with the deaf community.
The charter was signed by the Council's Leader, Councillor Martin Thacker MBE - who himself grew up in the deaf community with deaf parents and learnt to sign at an early age.
It confirms the Council's commitment to 5 key pledges:
- ensuring access to information and services for deaf people,
- promoting learning and high quality teaching of British Sign Language (BSL),
- consulting with the deaf community on a regular basis,
- supporting deaf children and families, and
- ensuring staff working with deaf people can communicate effectively in BSL.
Councillor Thacker said: "This is something very close to my heart as both my parents are profoundly deaf and we as a Council are committed to doing all we can to support everyone who lives, works or visits our District.
"One in six people in the UK have some form of hearing loss and data shows this is more like one in five in our district. By signing this charter we have underlined our determination to further improve access to the services we offer to members of our deaf community."