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Shortlist Revealed for Wales’ Most Deaf Friendly Organisation Awards

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Nine Welsh organisations have been shortlisted for the prestigious Action on Hearing Loss Cymru Excellence Awards for the work they do to make their services accessible to the one in six people in Wales with hearing loss.

The leading charity established the awards to recognise businesses and organisations that go above and beyond to support the 575,000 people in Wales who have varying degrees of hearing loss.

The shortlist is made up of a myriad of organisations across Wales and includes health boards, emergency services, councils and charities.

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is one of four Welsh health boards to make the shortlist. The Health Board has been shortlisted because of its actions to respond to feedback from the deaf community regarding communication barriers. CVUHB implemented multi-channel communication systems to ensure equal access to services for all. The Board identified people via their medical records who either require a BSL interpreter or alternative technological solutions.

Furniture favourite Ikea is another organisation to make the shortlist for its dedication to supporting a deaf member of staff from adapting the recruitment process to upskilling co-workers accordingly. The Swedish furniture giant also ran a sign language course through the Wales Council for Deaf People which was undertaken by 30 members of staff who can now offer ‘essential sign’ to customers if needed.

All shortlisted entries will be judged by a panel of people who are deaf or have hearing loss, and the awards will be presented to the country’s most outstanding organisations at a ceremony at St David’s Hotel, Cardiff Bay, on Friday 17th May. ITV Wales correspondent, Carole Green, will be hosting the awards, while AOHL volunteers, donors and previous award winners will also be in attendance. Western Power Distribution, winners of last year’s overall Excellence in Service award, will be supporting this year’s event.

A special award will also be presented to an organisation in Wales which is taking positive steps to improve and develop their services for people who are deaf or have hearing loss. The People’s Choice award will be voted for by the public and awarded to an organisation which provides outstanding assistance to those with hearing loss.

The nine Welsh companies to make the shortlist for this years Excellence Awards are:

  • Artes Mundi, Cardiff
  • Aneurin Bevan Health Board, South East Wales
  • Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, North Wales
  • Conwy County Borough Council, Conwy
  • Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan
  • IKEA, Cardiff and South Wales
  • Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust
  • Willis Construction, Cardiff
  • Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, Rhondda Cynon Taf

Daisy Cole, Director for Wales at Action on Hearing Loss, said:

“We’ve received an outstanding collection of entries for this year’s awards and I know the judging panel will have a very difficult decision ahead of them. Every year it’s amazing to see the changes organisations are making to ensure services and workspaces are accessible to all. Seventeen percent of Wales’ population is deaf or hard of hearing so these changes really are essential and will hopefully inspire other organisations and businesses to follow suit and adapt their services and workspaces accordingly. We launched the Excellence Awards five years ago and since then have presented awards to over 20 Welsh companies that go above and beyond to support those who are deaf or have hearing loss.”

For more information on the work of Action on Hearing Loss Cymru visit www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/cymru