ARRIVA champions driving deaf awareness forward

Press Release

ARRIVA NORTH EAST has become the region's first 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 is thrilled that their customers can now benefit from this training. He said: “We recognise the importance of training frontline staff to deal with the specific needs of each customer.

"We now have eight 'Deaf Aware Champions' who can ensure that Arriva maintains first class customer service for people who are deaf or have a hearing loss.

"Our 'champions' have a newfound confidence 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, qualifications and accreditation come from Signature, the UK's leading awarding body in deaf communication.

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 unique e-learning course which presents training in a fun, interactive format, takes only 30 minutes to complete and enables participants to complete training literally anywhere and anytime. The training concludes with a short test and, when successful, you print out a certificate to evidence your understanding.

Get Deaf Aware can offer employers advice, guidance and access to tailored training solutions which have been created to meet current UK Equality & Diversity laws. For more information please contact or telephone 0191 383 7911.

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