Annual report 2019

Communication for all

Communication is one of the key challenges faced by those affected by deafness. Our focus is on making communication and language accessible for everyone. To achieve this, we have focused our activities to reflect ‘Communication for All’. Everyone should have the opportunity to be an active citizen, engage in their community and influence their future. At the moment, if someone can’t communicate then they can’t participate fully in their community. The traditional approach to tackling this, for people affected by deafness, is focused on the medical model – how can we ‘fix’ you?

By adopting a social model and human rights based approach to communication, we believe that society can shift its attitude towards deafness. We can apply the PANEL principles to put this approach into practice – Participation, Accountability, Nondiscrimination, Empowerment and Legality. How can we ensure communication is possible for the total population? Using the social model of disability, solutions include developing visual language (British Sign Language) and offering a range of
communication and language access supports which help to increase empowerment, participation and enjoyment of rights.

‘“Communication for All” will be the main campaign run for the next three years; including BSL for All and Connect Us Too – specifically looking at barriers around access to talking therapies and gaps to build resilience and prevent mental illness, a serious problem for those affected by deafness.’

Janis McDonald, Chief Officer