Helen Keller said "Blindness cuts us off from things, but deafness cuts us off from people", which means hearing loss separates people from their family, friends and wider society.

On our Campaigns page, we are asking that you support our campaign to make Scotland the first Inclusive Communication Nation.

 

We have a supporters page which lists all the organisations who are not members but who support this campaign: https://deafscotland.org/communication-for-all-supporters/

 

In 2011, the Scottish Government published the "Principles of Inclusive Communication: An information and self-assessment tool for public authorities" ( https://www.gov.scot/publications/principles-inclusive-communication-information-self-assessment-tool-public-authorities/pages/9/ ). We would like to see Scottish Government and all public bodies in Scotland use this to take forward Inclusive Communication (Communcation For All) as a strategy that is at the heart of all their work.

 

On this page, we will explain what our campaign is all about and how we are trying to make Scotland the first Inclusive Communication Nation.

 

We are raising awareness of Communication Poverty and Communication Deficit.

What do we mean by this? Too many deaf people across the four pillars of deafness do not have the same access to information, goods and services as hearing people do because their language and communication support needs are not met by service providers. Service providers include governmental departments; councils; health boards; public bodies; schools, colleges and universities; transport companies and hubs - buses, trains, airports, ferry terminals; shops, including online shopping; utility companies - phones, electricity, gas; petrol stations; banks and building societies; support services; charities.

 

Poverty is the state of being poorer in quality or lacking in amount. When it comes to communication, too often there is little information produced that is visually accessible.

How often are you frustrated by the information you receive from your GP or from a bank because the print is too small or the words are too complicated or the grammar is bad?  More and more information is coming out in video format which is good, but too often it will not have pictures or subtitles and fewer will have a British Sign Language translation. For the person with a hearing loss, without these visual clues, the video will be of poor quality and of no use as they cannot understand what the messages are.

From the service provider point of view, their messages are not reaching everyone they need to and so they have to be repeat over and over in other ways. This is a waste of our money as Scotland's tax payers and a waste of our time as people who have a hearing loss.

 

A deficit is the amount by which something is too small. Service providers do provide accessible information - leaflets, videos, articles in the media. Most are also willing to explain what services they provide and how a person can access them.

The deficit happens when, for example, service providers provide a video on their home webpage in BSL which explains what they do, but do not provide the same information on a DVD so that people who are not online can have access to the same information.

Another example would be, information is provided in accessible and inclusive formats on what the service provider can do generally, but there is no accessible and inclusive information available about the contract the service provider has with the person, their notes are not provided in an accessible format, and there is no accessible complaints procedure.