A common purpose for the deaf sector

The UK Council on Deafness is asking for help to find a common purpose for individuals and organisations concerned with deafness and deafblindness.

They have designed a short survey that anyone working in the sector can respond to.

The initiative came about after Council members said a statement summing up what they are all working towards would be useful.

Jim Edwards, chief executive of Signature and chair of the UK Council on Deafness, said: "In recent years our members and others working in the field of deafness and deafblindness have achieved a lot through cooperation. The recent DWP review of Access to Work is a good example, as is the support for Sir Malcolm Bruce's proposed Communication Support (Deafness) Bill last year.

"So we're starting from a strong position. There's a lot we agree on. But the statement of common purpose will make that partnership even more effective. It will help us achieve the outcomes we want and deaf and deafblind people expect."

The focus of the statement will be a clear vision and set of values. But it will also include a framework for working towards results, priorities for action and recommendations for working together.

The survey is open until Friday 12 September. There will then be some stakeholder events in November and December.

The statement will be promoted from early 2015. The Council hopes it will provide a focus for individuals and organisations in the run up to the general election.

The common purpose initiative is overseen by a task force chaired by Michael Bishop, a UK Council on Deafness trustee. Its members are Brian Archbold, UK Council on Deafness trustee and former chief executive of The Ear Foundation; Carol Cole, Action on Hearing Loss trustee; Chris Cartwright, Key Projects Manager at Phonak UK; Craig Crowley, chief executive of Action Deafness; Gwen Carr, National Programme Lead for the NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme; Jane Cordell, small business owner and trustee of Disability Rights UK and Manchester Deaf Centre; and Jeff Skipp, chief executive of Deafblind UK.

It is advised by David Buxton, chief executive of the British Deaf Association; Steve Powell, chief executive of SignHealth; and Brian Lamb OBE, chair of the Alliance on Hearing Loss and Deafness and Achievement for All. And supported by Mike Elliott, previously chief executive and now trustee of the Clare Foundation; Jim Edwards, chair of the UK Council on Deafness and chief executive of Signature; and Dan Sumners, Senior Policy Adviser at Signature.

If you have any questions you can contact Dan Sumners via dan.sumners@signature.org.uk.

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