Organisations concerned with deafness and hearing loss will be working collectively to influence the next government following agreement of a statement of common purpose (attached).
Organisations from all sectors are now being asked to become founder signatories and promote the statement.
A campaign will be launched after the general election to raise awareness of the problems faced by people who are deaf or have a hearing loss and the solutions the sector is pursuing.
The aim is to take us closer to a world in which people who are deaf, Deaf, deafblind, deafened or hard of hearing are able to fulfil their potential.
It will benefit everyone who is deaf or has a hearing loss, whether they use sign language or spoken language, have a cochlear implant or hearing aids, or see themselves as disabled or part of a cultural minority.
Craig Crowley, chief executive of Action Deafness, is chair of the task force that has produced the statement. Craig said: "We are pleased and encouraged that we've agreed this basis for collective work in a relatively short time.
"Everyone seems to have recognised a lack of common purpose has stopped us making the political and social progress on deafness and hearing loss we should have. We now have a firm platform from which to speak to government and the public.”
Jim Edwards, chair of the UK Council on Deafness, which led the initiative on behalf of its members, said: "In the past, organisations have focused on differences of opinion, rather than common aims. The focus this statement provides is an indication that's changing.
"Because whatever we think about the importance of using this or that language, or the benefits of one or other medical intervention, we agree society shouldn't hold someone back just because they are deaf or have a hearing loss."
Dan Sumners, senior policy adviser at Signature, said: "This collaboration across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors is good news for everyone concerned about improving communication between deaf, deafblind and hearing people.
"It will mean we are better placed to work in partnership with government to achieve our aim of a society in which people who are deaf or have a hearing loss are able to be fully included."
The statement has been designed and will be supported by not-for-profits, public sector organisations and companies. As well as a vision and mission, it describes how organisations will work together to achieve them.
It is the result of work established by the UK Council on Deafness and coordinated by a task force. For more information see http://deafcouncil.org.uk/category/commonpurpose.
If you want to be a founder signatory and help promote the statement please email firstname.lastname@example.org.