My View, Alan Robinson: Charter signing a boost for deaf pupils

The Childrens Trust  signed up to the British Sign Language Charter in Doncaster.
The Childrens Trust signed up to the British Sign Language Charter in Doncaster.

This week has seen an important Charter signed in Doncaster which is a huge step forward for deaf people in our region.

We were delighted to welcome The Children’s Trust, which delivers children’s social care in Doncaster, to the Deaf Trust where they signed up to the British Sign Language (BSL) Charter.

The charter pledges to provide easy access to services for British Sign Language users and is an example of the importance being placed on BSL users having access to appropriate services.

Here at the Deaf Trust we strive to promote BSL in all forms of public service and through international cooperation through the Trust’s www.spreadthesign.com initiatives.

Our town has a long and proud history of providing specialist education for deaf people and we are delighted this charter has been signed at the Deaf Trust as promoting BSL is crucial for equality to be delivered

We are extremely pleased the Children’s Trust has recognised the importance of this charter and pledged equal access for deaf people. Doncaster Children’s Services Trust’s chairman Colin Hilton and chief executive Paul Moffat signed the charter, which is promoted by the British Deaf Association and its chairman Dr Terry Riley who added his signature at the Doncaster ceremony.

Providing equal opportunities and treatment is critical to an inclusive society and this charter will help us ensure organisations meet the needs of people who are deaf.

Communication Specialist College, part of Doncaster Deaf Trust is working with the Children’s Trust to provide staff training and feedback on services from BSL users. It is wonderful to see a mainstream service such as the Doncaster Children’s Service Trust signing up to the BSL Charter and we hope others follow suit.

The BSL Charter includes pledges to improve access for deaf people to local services and information, to promote learning and high-quality teaching of British Sign Language, to support deaf children and families, to ensure staff working with deaf people can communicate effectively in British Sign Language and to consult with our local deaf community on a regular basis.

As a provider of specialist education for deaf people we work from nursery through to school and college and help people into employment through contracts with the Department of Work and Pensions.

Equal opportunities for all of our children, pupils, students and adults is something we fight for and recently a group of our students were in London demonstrating for their right to choose where they access their specialist education.

We believe that this should be a right not a fight.