Volunteers train to teach Deaf Awareness to Health Professionals
Published by HearFirst for HearFirst in Communities and also in Education, Health
Deaf volunteers attend the ‘train the trainer’ two-day training course delivered by HearFirst
A group of deaf volunteers from the North West have received ‘train the trainer’ training to empower them to deliver their own short deaf awareness training courses to health care professionals in GP surgeries and hospitals.
Eleven volunteers attended the two-day course, which was delivered by award winning workplace training and consultancy company, HearFirst. The course, which was delivered by two deaf facilitators, gave the group knowledge of how people learn and showed them the tutor skills needed for running a successful training event providing each learner with a positive experience.
The training is part of a partnership project called Deaf Health Champions. The project is a partnership of national healthcare charity, Sign Health, UK Council on Deafness, Manchester Deaf Centre, Merseyside Society for Deaf People and Cumbria Deaf Vision. The project is funded until December 2015 through a grant of £592,000 from the Department of Health’s Health and Social Care Volunteering Fund (HSCVF).
The aim of the project is to improve personal experience, equality of access, choice and control over health care for deaf people, particularly sign language users. To achieve this, the project aims to train and support volunteers to make positive changes to the way in which health and social care services are delivered to Deaf people.
The volunteers have been recruited and trained to become leaders or champions to represent the Deaf community at a strategic level but also volunteer for a wide range of health related services. Volunteers that become champions are expected to perform a variety of roles including delivering short deaf awareness training sessions to groups of hearing people.
Joanne Slater, Project Manager for Deaf Health Champions, said: “As part of the project we will be delivering mini deaf awareness sessions to health organisations. The best people to deliver that training are deaf people themselves.”
Sadly deaf people are more likely to be unemployed than hearing people, despite the support available to employers through the Government’s Access to Work scheme. Joanne continues: “Not only did this excellent course give our volunteers confidence, it also gave them valuable work related skills. Deaf Health Champions is about improving healthcare but it’s also about improving employment prospects.
Deaf Health Leader Frank More from Salford comments: “I’m looking forward to delivering these sessions to my local GP and hospital. Deaf people generally receive poor service from healthcare, but we are optimistic that things are improving. That’s why I joined Deaf Health Champions. I want to be part of that improvement!”
Julie Ryder, Director and Founder of HearFirst, said: “Our aim at HearFirst is to deliver training that will result in real changes being made for real people. The volunteers who attended our two-day ‘train the trainer’ course gained valuable new skills which helped them grow in confidence as deaf awareness tutors. We witnessed the volunteers flourish over the two day course. Each one of them is now equipped to deliver effective training and champion deaf awareness within the health sector.”
HearFirst provides a full range of equality & diversity training courses to organisations across the UK. For more information on Deaf, disability awareness and BSL training, please contact Julie at HearFirst on 01706 872816 or visit www.hearfirst.org.uk
For more information on Deaf Health Champions visit www.deafhealthchampions.org.uk
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