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Deaf awareness training delivered as part of International celebrations

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Deaf awareness training delivered as part of International celebrations


Published by HearFirst for HearFirst in Housing and also in Communities, Education, Health

Front line trade staff from Stafford and Rural Homes discussing what they have learnt during the one day ‘understanding deafness for the housing workforce’ course Front line trade staff from Stafford and Rural Homes discussing what they have learnt during the one day ‘understanding deafness for the housing workforce’ course

Members of staff from a West Midlands-based housing association gained an insight into the world of deafness last week as part of International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDOPD).

Front line trade and office staff from Stafford and Rural Homes attended a one day ‘understanding deafness for the housing workforce’ course, which was delivered by award winning workplace training and consultancy company, HearFirst.

The aim of the course, which is specifically designed for housing organisations, raises awareness of people with varying levels of hearing loss and equips them with the skills to communicate with deaf residents more effectively. 

Staff from the association, which owns and manages 5,600 homes across the Stafford Borough, learnt about all ranges of deafness including hard of hearing, deafened, deafblind and deaf and the communication methods that can be used. 

The course also provided staff with an improved ability to use good communication tactics and what they can do differently to improve services to deaf and hard of hearing residents.

The in-house training was delivered to co-incide with IDOPD, which promotes disabled people’s participation in social life. The theme of this year’s celebrations focuses on ‘breaking barriers, opening doors for an inclusive society and development for all.’

The day, which was proclaimed on December 3, 1992 by the United Nations General Assembly was established when a World Programme of Action for Disabled People was set up to promote the full participation of disabled people in social life and development as well as prevention and rehabilitation measures.

The aim of IDOPD increases the awareness of gains to be derived from integrating people with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

Housing providers such as Stafford and Rural Homes in particular, are embracing and managing to find ways to meet their tenants’ and residents’ needs by promoting equality and diversity and disability awareness training within the workplace.

Marie McCarren, Learning and Development Manager from Stafford and Rural Homes, said: “This training has proved vitally important for our staff and has highlighted many of the issues that deaf people face on a daily basis.  We are now looking forward to putting our new skills to good use, and breaking down any barriers relating to deafness that may exist within our communities.”

Julie Ryder, Director and Founder of HearFirst, said: “I had my first hearing aids fitted in 1992, aged 21 - the same year as the first IDOPD.   Until then, I was blissfully unaware of the prejudice and discrimination that disabled people face.  As I attempted to carry on with life, it became obvious that there was more than my hearing loss holding me back and other people’s attitudes were as disabling as the condition itself. 

“Our aim at HearFirst is to deliver training that will result in real changes being made for real people and the training we have delivered to staff at Stafford and Rural Homes will help them to communicate clearly and more effectively with their residents.

“We wanted to inspire, motivate and improve their understanding and awareness of deafness to help them improve communication and the feedback we have received from all those who attended was very positive.”

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 872 816 or visit


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