The hunt is on to reward people in the UK and Ireland who have done most to overcome the communication barriers deaf people face in everyday life.
The Signature Annual Awards aim to recognise outstanding achievement by both individuals and organisations that have made, in their own way, a significant contribution towards a society in which deaf people have full access.
The awards will celebrate the achievements of those who excel in disciplines such as BSL (British Sign Language) and lip speaking. The awards will also recognise those individuals and organisations that champion the industry and those striving to build bridges and extinguish any prejudices between hearing and deaf people.
Signature – the national awarding body that administers accredited qualifications in signed languages and other methods of communication used by deaf and deafblind people – is running the awards for the first time.
The awards will be presented at a glittering ceremony at London’s Crowne Plaza Buckingham Gate Hotel, in November.
Signature operates throughout the UK, Ireland and the Channel Islands. All told, people can study for Signature’s qualifications at more than 700 locations, and the organisation also administers the National Registers for Communication Professionals working with Deaf and Deafblind people.
Signature Chief Executive, Jim Edwards, said: “Signature promotes excellence in communication with deaf and deafblind people so our vision of a society in which deaf people have full access can become a reality.
“The Signature Annual Awards are about rewarding champions in deaf communications. They are designed to bring recognition to people who have excelled in delivering the goal of greater understanding of deaf and deafblind people and the languages and communication methods they use.
“We strongly urge everyone to help make the awards a celebration to remember, in the first instance by nominating individuals and organisations that have gone the extra mile for the cause.”
There are five award categories in total – the Joseph Maitland Robinson Award for Outstanding Contribution, Learner of the Year, Teacher of the Year, Communication Professional of the Year and Organisational Achievement.
Full details of the awards and how to nominate for them can be found at www.signature.org.uk/awards.