Assembly Proves Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Date: Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Reference: SO 03/11/12
The Northern Ireland Assembly today became the first legislature in the United Kingdom to be awarded the prestigious RNID Action on Hearing Loss “Louder than Words” best practice chartermark.
The “Louder than Words” charter mark was awarded to the Northern Ireland Assembly following a lengthy audit process, during which the organisation was required to demonstrate a commitment to improving access and services to deaf and hard of hearing people.
New equipment such as an upgrade to the hearing loop system, additional signage and the introduction of whispering tour equipment1 has been introduced. Assembly staff have also undergone training in Deaf Awareness and communication tactics to ensure that they are able to recognise and facilitate the very particular needs of deaf and hard of hearing visitors.
Accepting the award on behalf of the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Speaker William Hay said: The Northern Ireland Assembly is extremely proud to be the first legislature in the United Kingdom to receive this award. We are committed to ensuring that the Assembly is a welcoming and accessible space for all who wish to visit and participate in the democratic process.
“There are more than 250,000 people living with hearing loss in Northern Ireland and I hope the steps that we have taken to implement the “Louder than Words” charter mark will encourage more of them to visit the Assembly”.
Jackie White, NI Director of RNID Action on Hearing Loss said: “We welcome the Assembly’s commitment to ensuring that people who are deaf or who have a hearing loss have full access to their services. The Northern Ireland Assembly has set an important precedent that we hope other UK legislatures will follow.
The Speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly, William Hay MLA is presented with the RNID Action on Hearing Loss ‘Louder than Words’ best practice chartermark. Pictured with the Speaker (l-r) are Claire Lavery, Communications and Campaigns Manager RNID Action on Hearing Loss NI and Jane Cordell, Head of Access, Training and Consultancy RNID Action on Hearing Loss. The Northern Ireland Assembly are the first legislature in the United Kingdom to be awarded with the prestigious ‘Louder than Words’ chartermark.
Notes to Editors:
1 A whispering Tour is a special tour organised by the Assembly using the Williams Sound tour guide system provided by RNID Action on Hearing Loss. The system comprises individual headsets worn by all tour participants and ensures that everyone receives the same hearing experience regardless of where they are located in the group or on the tour. The Williams sound tour guide system sends the guide’s message directly to the listener without background noise and at a distance of up to 150 feet.
For information on the work of RNID Action on Hearing Loss please contact:
Communications and Campaigns Manager
Telephone or textphone: 028 9023 9619 / mob: 07944 575820
Fax: 028 9031 2032