Mid and East Antrim bids to become a ‘deaf-friendly’ council

Mid and East Antrim has committed to becoming a “deaf-friendly” council after a motion was approved at a special meeting on Tuesday.

The borough council plans to ensure that all services will be accessible to those with hearing difficulties and signing will be provided on social media to highlight important events and announcements.

The council will also be promoting sign courses for staff and intends to appoint a “deaf champion” within the council.

The motion was proposed by Carrickfergus DUP Councillor Cheryl Johnston and seconded by party colleage Braid Councillor Julie Frew.

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council logo.

Cllr Johnston told the meeting that she welcomed an announcement by Mayor Councillor Peter Johnston that he is to provide a signer for his online monthly updates.

Cllr Frew said: “It is vitally important that all all citizens can interact and staff are availing of and trained to use sign language.”

Mid and East Antrim is also working to become dementia and autism friendly.

Braid DUP Councillor Beth Adger commented that her son  has difficulty lip-reading while people are wearing masks during the Covid pandemic.

Braidside TUV Councillor Timothy Gaston indicated that legacy Ballymena councillors have taken part in an awareness session previously.

“We need to get ourselves up-to-date to make sure the whole organisation avails of some sort of training.”

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter.


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