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Consultation on provision of communication support services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing across NI

2016-06-07

A consultation process on the recommendations from the regional review of communication support services for people who are deaf or hard of hearing across Northern Ireland has been launched by the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB).

The consultation period will end on Monday 5th September 2016 at 5pm.

Launching the consultation Fionnuala McAndrew, Director of Social Care and Children with the Health and Social Care Board, said:

“There are around 5,000 people in Northern Ireland who use sign language. Increasingly people from the deaf and hard of hearing community tell us that they want to use interpretation services more to access Health and Social Care Services.

“The Health and Social Care Board carried out a review of communication support services which identified the need for a more consistent service which is accessible, efficient and sustainable into the future. At present interpreting services are accessed and provided differently in each Health and Social Care Trust area.  Subsequently people’s experience of the service differs regionally in, for example, how interpreters are booked, how much the services cost and the distances interpreters can travel.

“A key recommendation from the regional review was that a standardised sign language service for deaf and hard of hearing people should be provided to everyone who needs it. “The purpose of this consultation is to ensure the people who rely on this service have opportunities to influence the development of the service regionally and express their views on a service model which offers a balance of face to face interpreting and, where appropriate, non face to face interpreting.”

During the consultation period, the HSCB is seeking the views of people who are deaf or hard of hearing, their families, carers, staff, voluntary organisations and the general public. A series of meetings, designed to engage directly with members of the deaf and hard of hearing community in an accessible and meaningful way throughout the consultation process, has been organised and facilitated by BDA Northern Ireland.  Details of the times and locations of these meetings can be viewed at www.hscboard.hscni.net/get-involved/consultations/consultation-communication-support/.

To view all consultation documents visit www.hscboard.hscni.net/get-involved/consultations/consultation-communication-support/.

Sign language versions of the consultation document and consultation questions can be viewed via these links British Sign Language Version or Irish Sign Language Version.

You can respond to the consultation in a number of ways:

Responses or requests for further information or alternative formats should be emailed to rcssr@hscni.net or in writing to: Donal Diffin, Health and Social Care Board, 12-22 Linenhall Street, Belfast, BT2 8BS or telephone 028 9536 2275 or via text relay on 2895362275 with 18001 for text relay.

However you choose to give us your views, we want to hear from you on or before Monday 5th September 2016 at 5.00 pm.

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