Equal access, participation and opportunities for all...
There are approximately 10 million children and adults in the UK who have some form of hearing loss. That's 10 million people who own, rent or live in houses, raise families, strive for a career, run cars, shop, buy clothes, want to buy the latest gadgets...
And yet these people often feel sidelined and ignored by their own country; 10 million British residents who feel unable to communicate with the rest of the population.
It's hard to believe that British Sign Language (BSL) – the first language for upwards of 250,000 Deaf people – was only officially recognised as a language in 2003. English is also a second language to the majority of immigrants coming to make the UK home, but political correctness dictates that translation and interpreter services are available to these non-English speakers in order to help them settle in their communities and find jobs. What about the Deaf UK population? Where is their support?
Is it fear? Ignorance? Prejudice? A case of the government believing that helping Deaf children and adults integrate and thrive in the wider community is just too expensive?
It is hard to imagine any benefit that comes from ignoring the untapped talent, knowledge, experience and income an entire section of society has to offer. And this is where Zebra Access comes in. Based in Wolverhampton, Zebra Access is a Deaf-led charity that is committed to increasing Deaf awareness and helping Deaf people enjoy the same level of access, participation, education, employment and opportunities the hearing population takes for granted.
Formed in 2005, Zebra Access works with Deaf people to increase their self-belief and confidence , delivering training courses as well as organising and supporting a huge range of events, clubs and initiatives in the local area. Founders, Marilyn Willrich and Nikki Stratton were both born deaf and raised by Deaf parents and grandparents, giving them an incredible depth of understanding of what it means to be Deaf in the UK.
Specialising in media training, Zebra Access uses British Sign Language to deliver courses on a wide range of topics, tailor made to meet the specific needs of Deaf participants, including:
Zebra Access can also offer advice and guidance to local employers on the health and safety issues they must consider when dealing with Deaf customers. For example, could you effectively communicate with a Deaf person to get them safely out of a building in an emergency? Do you have policies in place to ensure that people in your pub, bar, cinema or nightclub are made aware of danger when they may not be able to hear an alarm?
There are a variety of ways you can get in touch with Zebra Access. You can email the team, call 01902 421 919 or visit the Wolverhampton charity's website to fill in a contact form.
Formed in 2003 by Marilyn and Nikki, Zebra Uno is an award-winning company that specialises in Deaf multimedia production and the provision of BSL/English interpreters for the Deaf community, both in Wolverhampton, the West Midlands and across the UK.
With the aim of facilitating communication between Deaf and hearing people, Zebra Uno uses the latest technology to bridge the gap and provide access for Deaf people. Through Zebra Uno, businesses and public bodies benefit from expert, affordable advice and technical services that enables them to offer equal access to Deaf people.
Zebra Uno offers:
In addition, Deaf people will benefit from trusted, reliable communication support:
Please click here for more information about Zebra Uno.
Founded in 2006, Deaffest has become the UK's leading Deaf-led film and arts festival, showcasing and celebrating the talent and creativity of Deaf filmmakers and artists from around the world.
This year's Deaffest will be taking place on Friday 16th to Sunday 18th May 2014 at Light House in Wolverhampton.
For more information, please visit the Deaffest website.
Please remember to mention The Best of Wolverhampton when contacting Zebra Access – thank you.
© The Best of Wolverhampton
Zebra Access is an amazing charity that supports the Deaf Community with employment courses, interpreters, training videos, Deaf awareness, and of course Deaffest -the International Film and Arts Festival...
Deaffest 2014 at the Lighthouse Wolverhampton Wonderful!! Full access, a great day,
Very well organised with helpful staff. We enjoyed our day and met some lovely people. This is our second year and would be happy to attend again next year.
Attended Deaffest yesterday what an amazing event, Zebra Access are so inspirational that we chose them as thebestof Wolverhampton Charity to support. These guys offer brilliant support to the deaf community,...
Very helpful in organising stall at deaffest, and an excellently organised and interesting event,