News / MP’s broaden their knowledge of deafness

posted on: June 5, 2014

A deaf employee from Unboxed Consulting spent the day at the House of Commons on Wednesday, May 14 to talk to Members of Parliament (MP’s) about what life is like as a deaf person in a hearing working world.

Unboxed Consulting was one of only four companies invited to participate in the event, which was organised in the lead up to support Deaf Awareness Week.

MP’s attended bite-sized training sessions to understand the impact of deafness on people in their constituency and improve communications skills.

The event was organised by HearFirst, a national award winning workplace training and consultancy company, to help improve MP’s understanding of the different types of deafness by highlighting the methods of communication used by deaf, deafened, deafblind and hard of hearing people, such as sign language and lipreading.

As part of organised activities, an employee from Unboxed Consulting who is deaf and working met MP’s to talk about their job, the contribution they make, the support they receive from their employer and what life is like as a deaf person in a hearing working world.

Over 25 MP’s attended the sessions and Jolie Lanser, Scrum Master from Unboxed Consulting, said: “It was great to show that a little bit of support offers me so much more potential. I was pleased to hear Unboxed was an example for the MP’s on how to embrace disability at work.”

Julie Ryder, Director and Founder of HearFirst, said: “The aim of the event was to raise awareness of deafness and provide MP’s with the knowledge and skills to help them make real changes for Deaf people within their constituencies.

“In the case of MP’s, it could mean being deaf aware during one-to-one meetings with constituents, making more formal meetings accessible and considering the needs of BSL users in written or web based materials.

“I am really pleased that a representative from Unboxed Consulting came along to support the event and spoke to MP’s at first-hand about real life experiences and the barriers and challenges that deaf people may experience in a working hearing environment.”

Jake Berry MP for Rossendale and Darwen who championed the sessions, commented: “Taking part today has really helped me raise my awareness to the issues faced by people experiencing all types of deafness in my constituency. It’s been great to take part and support Deaf Awareness Week.”

Now in its eleventh year, Deaf Awareness Week is a week-long campaign between 19th and 25th May and is co-ordinated by the UK Council on Deafness (UKCoD). Hundreds of deaf charities and organisations across the UK will participate in a series of national and local events during the week.