The Health and Social Services Department Interpreting Services team has been awarded a Gold Standard kitemark that will enable Jersey’s deaf and hard of hearing community to better access their services. Eleven employees have qualified in deaf awareness with the aim of making their communication easier for those with any level of hearing impairment.
The kitemark, called the Standard for Good Customer Services to dDeaf, Deafblind and Hard of Hearing People, was developed after dDeaf * people reported the difficulties they encounter every day when trying to communicate with and access businesses and services, whether at work, home or when participating in Island life.
The Standard is delivered by the dDeaf Tutors’ Consortium through Highlands College. Each member is a qualified tutor of adult learners and an approved Highlands College visiting lecturer. With their diverse individual experience of dDeafness and its impact on all aspects of their lives, they are very aware of the positive impact the Standard has on hearing, dDeaf and deafblind communities and the Island in general.
Nicola De Jesus, Language and Communication Liaison Manager at HSSD, said: “Our team is delighted to have achieved the Gold Standard. It was really important for us to undertake this training. Not only does it enhance what we already do as communication professionals, but it also serves as an example to other frontline staff who, on a daily basis, deal with a wide range of people whose linguistic and communication needs are unknown.
“The course was extremely powerful; every time we walked into the classroom we lived in a dDeaf world. The experience of standing in the shoes of a dDeaf or dDeafblind person gave us immense insight into their lives. The training raised our awareness and equipped us with a toolkit to help us respond positively to customers’ specific communication needs.”
Laura Goldstein, Programme Manager for Adult Education at Highlands College, said: “The success of the Interpreting Services team in gaining a Gold Standard award demonstrates their total commitment to improving their own communication skills so they can better support the community, whatever the individual communication needs are.”
The training was generously supported by the Jersey dDeaf Society.