International Week of Deaf People, community engagement.
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This International Week of Deaf People 2023 we’d like to tell you more about how we engage with residents who are Deaf or have hearing difficulties.
In Hartlepool we have a close relationship with the town’s Deaf Centre; PC Kieth Robinson (himself a hearing aid user) regularly visits the group to engage with and support its members.
Rachel from the Centre said: “The Deaf community can feel very marginalised and as a result many Deaf people can be reluctant to ask police for help due to potential communication barriers.
“PC Robinson understands some of the issues and through his face-to-face interactions with our members he’s taken time to learn about Deaf people’s experiences.
“He’s open and honest will always help out where he can; the group welcomes him like an old friend when he comes in.
“PC Robinson takes feedback from our members and finds answers to their concerns, he really goes above and beyond for our members and most importantly they know he is someone they can go to if they need help.
“Cleveland Police has worked hard to help Deaf people access their services and we were pleased to see them set up the BSL101 service (SignLive) for an accessible way for British Sign Language users to contact them in a non-emergency.
“Their Control Room even arranged for Deaf people from across Teesside to have a tour of the facility and watch a demo of the BSL video relay service, taking on board feedback to improve the design of the service.
“Also, one of their Chief Inspectors regularly attends the NENC Deaf Network meetings to feedback on this service and inform us of any other initiatives that may be relevant.
“This is very apt as we celebrate International Week of Deaf People with its theme of ‘A world where deaf people everywhere can sign anywhere.”
Photo shows PC Kieth Robinson with BSL Interpreter Kath Keogan (RSLI) promoting the BSL101 service to Hartlepool Deaf Centre members during IWDP 2023 and showing them how to download the App to their smartphones.