Deaf communication champions crowned at national awards

The individuals and organisations leading the field in deaf communications in the UK and Ireland have been honoured during a prestigious awards ceremony.

Representatives from across the deaf community came together this month for the 2012 Signature Annual Awards to celebrate the outstanding achievements of 42 nominees, who have shown unwavering dedication in helping to improve the lives of the deaf community.

Organised by Signature, the UK’s leading provider of accredited qualifications in deaf and deafblind communication, as part of the national charity’s 30th anniversary celebrations, the awards celebrate those who are helping to break down communications barriers to create a society in which every deaf person can enjoy full access.

Amongst the awards’ winners was the Scottish Council on Deafness, which received the Organisational Achievement award at the 2012 Signature Annual Awards.

Jim Edwards, Chief Executive of Signature, said: “There is so much outstanding work being carried out across the UK and Ireland by individuals and organisations who are immensely passionate about raising deaf awareness and the Signature Annual Awards offer us the ideal opportunity to celebrate this under-recognised talent.

“This year we have heard some truly inspirational stories of dedication which meant selecting the eight winners was no easy task.”

Alongside hosting the 2012 Signature Annual Awards, Signature marked its 30th anniversary with its national Challenges And Choices In Education conference recently which saw Edward Timpson, Children and Families Minister, unveil the Government’s new service contract that will help improve access and attainment for deaf children.

Jim added: “In the UK one person in six is affected by hearing loss, but outdated misconceptions and inadequate support leave many deaf people excluded from services. Increasing deaf awareness and creating a more inclusive society has never been more important.

“Over the past 30 years our work has contributed to huge change in our society, we will continue to campaign for better access for deaf and deafblind people.”

For more information on the awards visit the 2012 Signature Annual Awards website at www.signature.org.uk/awards.

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