Pardon? Access to Communication for All – Response.

This is a response to the blog posting “Nothing about us without us“, criticising our campaign. The information on this blog is incorrect, so we felt some things needed to be clarified. This campaign isn’t about “payments to communication professionals”. It is about deaf BSL users being given the choice and flexibility to chose the most appropriate interpreting support to meet their needs.

There are a group of individuals involved in the “Stop changes to Access to Work” campaign; a mixture of deaf professionals and interpreters, not just a single person.

The reason the campaign is focusing on BSL users is because they are being told by AtW to start recruiting a permanent interpreter and stop using freelance support. This is happening to this specific group of deaf people who are allocated 30 hours of AtW a week, and it is happening now. We want to focus on the lack of consultation about this new development. We are well aware of other issues, but felt that something needed to be done urgently to support this group. The AtW complaints system is reliant on written English and is therefore not accessible to many BSL users.

It is not this campaigns intention to exclude anyone. We fully advocate access for all. This is a specific, single issue campaign. We would hope that everyone can be supportive of this campaign and should others wish to run parallel campaigns regarding AtW we will be more than happy to offer our full support.

This campaign is about raising awareness of the issue.

Posted on November 20, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Sorry can’t sign it because it’s FAR too specific. Im deaf and oral and wholly reliant on a lipspeaker. I’ve also had problems with AtW as well.

    • Campaigns have to be very specific in order to gain support. We understand that the issue of AtW is experienced by Deaf, deafblind, deafened and hard of hearing people. We will raise all issues with communication support when meeting Ministers.

      In the meantime you may find it useful to look at the DeafAtw website. They are currently looking for people to share their experiences of AtW and would be very happy to hear from you.

      Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

  2. DO you realise that youre directly discriminating against non BSL users according to Equalities Act.
    By the way Interpreters are supposed to be “impartial”.

  3. Thank you for your comment.

    As we have explained to you before, it is a group of Deaf people and interpreters behind the campaign. The campaign is an example of collaborative working. The interpreters in the group regard ourselves as part of the Deaf community, and are involved because our families, friends and colleagues are all affected by these unfair changes.

    We have considered our professional ethics and discussed them with the Deaf people behind the campaign. We feel there is no conflict as the campaign asks the DWP to stop imposing the changes and engage with relevant organisations. We are not seeking anything that benefits interpreters.

    Again, as we have said before, interpreters have the freedom to work elsewhere, Deaf people who find that AtW no longer meets their needs, can’t.

    We are lucky to live in a democracy where we can voice our issues as well as support others. Ours is not the only voice. We have no intention of deterring others, including yourself, from campaigning. We have already stated very clearly that we would whole heartily support other campaigns, and hope that we are stronger together. We would never dictate what others should be doing, so politely request that you extend the same respect to us.

    As we have said before, we are happy to discuss campaign objectives with Pardon.

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