Hearing Impairment Services

Northern Ireland written question – answered on 25th January 2005.

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Photo of Sylvia Hermon Sylvia Hermon Shadow Spokesperson (Women), Shadow Spokesperson (Trade and Industry), Shadow Spokesperson (Culture, Media and Sport), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what monitoring controls are in place to assess quality of Government service delivery to deaf and hard of hearing people in Northern Ireland.

Photo of John Spellar John Spellar The Minister of State, Northern Ireland Office

All 11 departments of the Northern Ireland Administration and the Northern Ireland Office have been issued with guidance on making information and events accessible, including to people who are deaf and hard of hearing. Some of these departments are working with the Royal National Institute for the Deaf to ensure that customer services are accessible.

In addition, the Department of Finance and Personnel is taking forward a work programme to ensure Government Buildings meet the needs of those with any form of disability, including those who are deaf or are hard of hearing. Departments in Northern Ireland, led by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, have been working in partnership with representatives of the deaf community to address important sign language issues, including best practice for the Northern Ireland civil service.

Further work will be taken forward by an inter departmental, inter sectoral group which has been established to address issues around barriers to participation experienced by people with disabilities, including access to services. Part of this work will involve a survey of people with disabilities in Northern Ireland.

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