Monday, 21 May 2012 07:44


NORTH Wales Assembly Member, Mark Isherwood, has questioned the Welsh Government this week over the need to take forward a programme aimed at ensuring equal access to telecommunications for people who are deaf and hard of hearing.


Mr Isherwood, who is himself a hearing-aid wearer and is Deputy Chair the All Party Group on Deaf Issues, calledfor a Welsh Government Statement on deaf and hard-of-hearing access to telecommunication in this week’s Business Statement.



He said: “The Minister may be aware that Deaf Access Cymru, Sign Wales, the University of Bristol and others have been working together to build on the momentum established by the Total Conversation For All Programme, which recognises that telephony services for deaf and hard-of-hearing people should be about voice, video and text, not voice alone. That is on the basis of inclusion and equality, as well as of access to emergency services, health and social services, work, commercial services such as banking, and so on.


“The pilot programme has been hugely successful. However, the European funding behind it ends on 30 June. I understand that Deaf Access Cymru and others will be meeting members of your equality unit on 17 May, because help is required to make this happen in Wales. Will you make a statement to the Assembly after that meeting to indicate the support that the Welsh Government might be able to provide to take this forward?”

The Minister for Finance and Leader of the House, Jane Hutt, replied: “I am grateful to Mark Isherwood for bringing this to my attention. As the Minister for  Equality, I will look at the outcomes of those discussions and the pilot programme and report back to the Assembly accordingly.”



Promoted by Mark Isherwood AM at National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA

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