Deaf people & the Accessible Information Standard: how well are local organisations doing?

Since August 2016, all organisations providing NHS care or publicly-funded adult social care are legally required to follow the Accessible Information Standard (AIS).
man cupping his ear


Deaf Positives Action used a Community Research Fund award from Healthwatch Wokingham to conduct: 
1)  A mystery shopping exercise in which Deaf 'mystery shopper' volunteers visited a total of 34 different NHS and social care settings serving Wokingham Borough residents. Venues included a range of GP and dental practices, high street opticians, NHS walk-in centres, and the local Council. 

2) A small-scale survey using an online questionnaire sent to 16 local Deaf people asking about their experiences of using health and care services over a six-month period (11 responses). 

3) A focus group with three Deaf service users from their client base, to capture individual first-hand accounts of their experiences and specific examples. 

  • 1Most organisations offered no communication support (e.g. interpreter provision) for care appointments.
  • 2 Many organisations and/or members of their staff showed poor awareness about communication support and their responsibilities under the AIS
  • 3 None of the organisations used BSL (British Sign Language) to communicate on their websites or TV screens - there was no 'in-vision' signing. 


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