'Equal participation and access without communication barriers'
6th May 2014
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thebestof Wolverhampton is delighted to announce that Zebra Access is our official charity. 

But what exactly does Zebra Access do? What sets them apart? Why does the local Deaf community need the help of a charity? 

You may not realise that the UK is home to approximately 10 million adults and children who have some degree of hearing loss. That's 160,000 more people than the entire population of London. Yet how many Deaf people do you know? More importantly, how many Deaf people do you work with?

We can assume that the majority of you will say 'none'. Why is that? Are Deaf people unintelligent? Unable to work? Of course not! Yet the communication barriers can be far-reaching. The Deaf community often feel sidelined and ignored in their own country, and marginalised in favour of other non-English speakers. That's right – more than 250,000 Deaf people count English as their second language as they communicate

through British Sign Language (BSL). Yet provisions are not made for them when it comes to education, working, shopping and entertaining. British Sign Language isn't taught in mainstream schools. 

We're sure you'll agree that this is a huge amount of untapped talent, experience, skill and income that is currently being wasted. 

Wolverhampton charity, Zebra Access is committed to changing this. Founded by two Deaf businesswomen,  Marilyn Willrich and Nikki Stratton in 2005, Zebra Access is all about breaking those barriers and providing Deaf people with the opportunities the hearing community take for granted. 

Zebra Access offer a wide range of courses to Deaf participants, which include media training, film production, broadcast presentation and more. These seminars are delivered in BSL and are created in partnership with relevant funding bodies. In addition, sister company Zebra Uno provides British Sign Language/English interpreters. 

The Wolverhampton charity also works with local employers to educate them on various health and safety issues that come with having Deaf employees and customers. Are you a business that would like to tap into the talent and income of a population of 10 million? Do you have the right policies in place? 

Here at thebestof Wolverhampton, we are delighted to support Zebra Access as it works to overcome social barriers, create new opportunities and increase the self-belief and confidence of the local Deaf community. 

Please click here for more information about thebestof Wolverhampton's official charity, Zebra Access.



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