Arriva North East has become the region’s ????irst travel provider to boast ‘deaf aware champions’ thanks to a national Get Deaf Aware campaign.
Eight Arriva North East employees attended the Get Deaf Aware (GDA) training course which aims to increase awareness of the everyday communication barriers faced by people with a hearing loss and included practical exercises as well as examples of clearer communication methods. Tony Hart, training and development manager for Arriva North East, said: “We recognise the importance of training frontline staff to deal with the speci????ic needs of each customer.
“We now have eight ‘Deaf Aware Champions’ who can ensure that Arriva maintains ????irst class customer service for people who are deaf or have a hearing loss. “Our ‘champions’ have a newfound con????idence because they know exactly what they need to do to communicate effectively with a deaf person and, going forward, they will be able to pass on what they have learned to their colleagues.”
Get Deaf Aware is a national campaign to enhance awareness and best practice in everyday deaf and hard of hearing communications through increased understanding and training.
Course content, quali????ications and accreditation come from Signature, a national charity which campaigns to improve the standards of communication with deaf and dea????blind people in the UK.
Signature’s Commercial Services Manager Emma Mortimer said: “Here in the UK one in six people have some degree of hearing loss. That’s about 10 million people so the demand to learn communication skills with deaf people is now higher than ever.
“Many employers, whether in the public, private or voluntary sector are acknowledging that they need to offer a better service for their deaf customers. Arriva has done exactly that and now, thanks to investment in training and taking on board our advice and guidance, it has the employees, skills and policies in place to offer real added value to their customer service.”
Arriva North East now plans to train more staff using Get Deaf Aware’s e-learning course.