Queen Alexandra Hospital staff take part in Southsea Castle Rotary Club project to raise highlight the experiences ot those who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Hospital staff have been given an insight to experiences of people who are deaf and hard of nearing as part of an awareness-raising project. Employees trom Queen Alexandra Hospital heard stories from the deaf community and got a basic lesson in British Sign Language as well as information about sign language interpreters as part of the project by Southsea Castle Rotary Club.
Ken Ebbens, who is leading the project at the Rotary and helps run the sessions with sign language interpreters, said: 'It all came about after Penny Mordaunt signed a speech in Parliament and I was challenged to sign her in during a group meeting.
"I am having hearing problems myself and I think people don't really think about what happens it you are deaf or hard of hearing until it happens to them.
We have started doing sessions all over the city to raise that awareness for businesses and organisations and to teach people some basic sign language and I think it is so important that we do."
A number of staff from across different departments at the Cosham hospital attended socially distanced sessions prior to lockdown.
Lead chaplain at the hospital. Dawn Banting said: "l recently attended a deaf awareness session because I didn't know much about the deaf community and I wanted to be more aware of their needs to enable me to provide the best care to our staff and patients at the trust.
I found the session incredibly informative. I learnt so much about sign language interpreters and communication with the deaf community.
I think anyone who hasn't worked with the deaf community would find these sessions incredibly informative and be surprised at some of the inspiring, heartrending and amazing stories that were shared at the session."
Charly Bellis, Perioperative Medicine Nurse, said: "The session was fabulous and provided an insight as to now it could be as a deaf patient. I was able to take back to my colleagues information on how to reach an interpreter, as well as some very basic sign language. It was an Inspiring afternoon".
Other businesses across Portsmouth, including Brittany Ferries and Optical Express, have also taken part in the informative sessions.
If you are a business that wants to have deaf awareness sessions please email email@example.com.
Update 25th Sept 2021 - Southsea Castle Rotary Club in the NEWS - Strictly Come Dancing raising awareness of those who have hearing difficulties