The City of Wolverhampton Council has signalled its commitment to people with hearing difficulties by signing up to a number of pledges.

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The British Deaf Association's Charter for British Sign Language encourages local councils to meet a number of pledges, and in doing so help eliminate unlawful discrimination, support equal opportunities and build good relations with the deaf community. 

The charter was signed by the council's Member Champion for Equalities, Councillor Michael Hardacre, and Strategic Director for People Linda Sanders.

It confirms the council's commitment to 5 key pledges - ensuring access to information and services for Deaf people, promoting learning and high quality teaching of British Sign Language (BSL), consulting with the Deaf community on a regular basis, supporting Deaf children and families and ensuring staff working with Deaf people can communicate effectively in BSL.

Councillor Hardacre said: "The council is committed to doing all it can to support everyone who lives, works or visits the City of Wolverhampton.

"We already offer BSL interpreters to residents who are deaf or hard of hearing and who need to access our services, have deaf units at East Park Primary and St Matthias schools and hold family signing sessions at the Gem Centre, while our sensory disabilities team provide a wide range of services to people with a disability, including hearing loss.

"Our Adult Education Service offers BSL courses to the public, has supported a number of council employees to learn the language and also hosts a regular Deaf Café, with staff able to take customers' orders using BSL, and let's not forget Deaffest, the UK's leading deaf film and arts festival, which took place at Light House over the weekend.

"One in 7 people in the UK have some form of hearing loss, and by signing this charter we have underlined our determination to further improve the service we offer to members of the deaf community in Wolverhampton.

released: Tuesday 10 May, 2016