deafPLUS Manifesto 2017

Extract from The Limping Chicken:

The charity deafPLUS has launched a manifesto of policies which would benefit Deaf and hard of hearing people in the upcoming general election.

The manifesto can be downloaded as a PDF by clicking here.

The charity did the same for the general election in 2015 and has now quickly updated the policies, drawing upon its experience of working with thousands of d/Deaf people across the country each year, in the hope that the policies may influence the major political parties and that people will ask local candidates to adopt them.

The suggested policies in the manifesto include:

  • BSL Bill – to “provide formal recognition of British Sign Language throughout England and Wales”
  • Accessible High Street services – companies to publish what reasonable adjustments they put in place for deaf customers
  • Improved access to mental health services for D/deaf people
  • Better access to NHS  information
  • A stop to rationing of hearing aids
  • Better communication support for D/deaf people who live in care homes
  • Broadcasting legislation to be updated to reflect advances in technology and the advent of on-demand services
  • Improvements to Access to Work provision

Gary Williams, CEO of deafPLUS said:

 “Like most people, we were surprised when Theresa May called the snap election. There is an brief opportunity for the d/Deaf community to influence the political parties as they put their detailed policy platforms together.  That is why deafPLUS has worked quickly to put a deafPLUS Manifesto together. It draws upon our experience of working with thousands of d/Deaf people across the country each year.

The manifesto has been sent to each of the major parties.  I have asked that they consider including in their own election policy documents.  It is my hope that Limping Chicken Readers might also use the deafPLUS manifesto to challenge their local candidates on issues of concern to them.  In this way, together, we might be able to put Deaf issues on the political agenda, and bring about positive change for Deaf people and people living with hearing loss.”

Download the manifesto as a PDF by clicking here.

The Limping Chicken is the UK’s deaf blogs and news website, and is the world’s most popular deaf blog. It is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.

deafPLUS Manifesto 2017

A Deaf man’s journey to employment

In this video, you can follow the story of a Deaf man called Haytam, as he journeys from unemployment to becoming a barista at Starbucks, with the support of deafPLUS’ employment service:

Birmingham Befriender Service

deafPLUS has successfully received funding from Better Care Fund in Birmingham.

Our work will focus on D/deaf, Hard of Hearing and Visually Impairment Carers living in Birmingham. Our aim is to reduce the social isolation and improve the mental health of those Carers.

We are recruiting volunteers, who must have level 2 or above in BSL. All volunteers will undergo a full DBS check before starting in their role and ongoing safeguarding and deaf/disability awareness training.

These volunteers will provide befriending service to the carers living in Birmingham and undertake and support them to access various activities such as:

  • Visiting shopping centres / supermarkets,
  • Exploring different places in and around Birmingham,
  • Meeting other people at clubs / centres / care homes / retirement homes,
  • Support carers with appointments in GPs / Hospitals / Day Centres,
  • Visit deafPLUS events in Birmingham.
  • Art workshops

We asked the carers about what they thought about the service.

“Befriender is good with BSL and we can communicate. She learning new BSL all the times”

“Befriender goes with me to take buses to my local which is helpful. Without them I would not travel myself”

“When my partner goes to the day centre in Birmingham. Befriender meets me at home and feels ready to go out”

We are working in partnership with VisionPLUS to ensure we deliver the best service and support for carers in Birmingham.

If you would like more information about the role, please contact Olivier Jamin on and enclose your CV.

deaf and hearing people working together toward equality

deafPLUS is the working name of Breakthrough Deaf-Hearing Integration, a company limited by Guarantee.  Registered Company number: 3680467. Registered Charity number: 1073468

Deaf Carers Conference


Following the success of last year’s Carers Conference, deafPLUS are delighted to launch the second Deaf Carers Conference on Wednesday 30th November 2016.

Deaf Carers are hidden in the community , unable to access services for much needed support and respite due to lack of access. This is an important issue that needs to be addressed and will be highlighted at the Carers Conference.

Hosted by deafPLUS and supported by Tower Hamlets Council, the conference will take place at the Whitechapel Idea Store. Carers, relatives and friends as well as professionals are invited to attend the conference which will offer advice and support for Deaf carers.

A range of exciting guest speakers include Craig Crowley MBE, the founder of YOUchoose, a Personal Assistant service, delivered as part of a consortium of which deafPLUS is a member. On the day, deafPLUS will launch the London branch of YOUchoose.

We want to ensure that Deaf carers don’t miss out on the help and support they deserve and we encourage anyone in this position to attend to find out what services are available to help them.

For more information please contact Amelia Ralph Lewis on

To book your free place,


New project to help deaf employees out of low pay

Project aims to develop progression routes out of low pay for Deaf employees in London

deafPLUS is delighted to announce a groundbreaking two-year project, funded by Trust for London, which focusses on the career development and advancement of Deaf employees who are stuck in low paying jobs.

By working with employers, we will support deaf employees across London, with the aim of helping them to improve their pay and career prospects.  We will also working to raise employer awareness of how they can get unlock their deaf staff’s potential through, for example, use of assistive technology or workplace buddying schemes.

This innovative project will work closely with store managers and HR teams to ensure that deaf employees receive the same career progression opportunities as their colleagues, including access to training, information about career opportunities and are supported in building their confidence.

At present, 67% of deaf employees nationwide are on national minimum wage –  currently set at £6.50 and rising to £6.70 from the 1st October 2015.

The current London Living wage is £9.15 and the national rate is £7.85.

Project Manager Jason Barnett said: “Since 2002 deafPLUS has worked closely with London employers to find jobs for approximately 380+ deaf clients. In doing so we have been able to significantly improve the lives of their deaf workers.  However it is sadly the case that too many of deaf employees find themselves stuck on the first rung of the career ladder.  This new project will provide a helping hand, ensuring more of them can move up to the next rung or beyond.

Jason also appealed for deaf employees to respond to our survey on employment issues.  This will help to inform his work on this issue.  Please click: here

Contact Details

Jason Barnett – deafPLUS London Career Progression Project Manager

deafPLUS, Key Close, Whitechapel, London, E1 4HG

Office: 020 7790 8478

SMS: 07581 675 422

Skype: deafplus1971