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Parliament Says You Have to Pay for an Interpreter!

parltours.jpg

Parliamentary Tours are usually held each summer, or organised by a constituent's MP, so visitors can see the Commons and Lords debating chambers, the Queen's Robing Room, etc. A question was recently asked in parliament about access:

Jacqui Smith (Redditch, Labour)

Although I welcome the progress that has been made, I want my hon. Friend to be aware of what happened earlier this year, when I tried to organise a tour of Parliament for the Redditch Deaf Club. My office was told that no one could be assigned to the group because of cost reasons. Furthermore, I understand that there is not full hearing-loop availability throughout the whole tour. I do not think that that is good enough, and I hope that the level of progress will be upped to ensure that all our constituents can access tours of this place, regardless of their disabilities.

Stuart Bell (Second Church Estates Commissioner, No Department; Middlesbrough, Labour)

I am grateful to my right hon. Friend. Induction loops are fitted in the Public Galleries, Committee Rooms and main Dining Rooms. On sign language, visitor services can provide a sign language tour, if it is booked in advance. Otherwise, the diversity managers can put a Member or visitor in touch with a British sign language interpreter, which would, of course, be at the visitor's expense. The House is in the process of providing British sign language training for 12 House staff, who will be able to assist visitors at short notice and at no cost to the visitor. I hope that that is a positive response for my right hon. Friend. However, if she has other such matters to raise, I shall be happy to take them up and refer them to the House of Commons Commission.

Now, did I read that correctly? I don't quite understand what he's saying here. Here we have the government proposing it breaks its own law? Deaf person pays for the interpreter, what gives? Hello, service provider with lots of resources what about your obligation for reasonable adjustments? So parliament passes the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, then refuses to follow its own law.

And why doesn't Redditch Deaf Club just sue?

If you read the rest of the debate, it goes onto say, "We have, of course, focused very seriously on disabled visitors who visit the visitor centre." Really?

Source:
They Work For You
Hansard

Comments (11)

Huh?

Reread. If you book a tour in advance, they'll provide someone. Otherwise, you're entitled to bring someone at your own cost which seems reasonable enough to me.

See the question, "when I tried to organise a tour of Parliament for the Redditch Deaf Club. My office was told that no one could be assigned to the group because of cost reasons."

Their statement still does not make sense, becauae "diversity managers can put a Member or visitor in touch with a British sign language interpreter, which would, of course, be at the visitor's expense." That's putting someone in touch, and to do that would be in advance. You would not go through that process if just turn up. There's no beam me up Scotty.

Join the RNID. They are lobbying already for political representation to put your view and everyone else's on the planet, they have no issues whatever getting communication support in, whenever and wherever they need it, mostly they don't need it ! because they are all hearing anyway. The BDA seems to have no voice at all.

The RNID are also lobbying for political status in the Euro parliament, the deaf have been sidelined, they have only themselves to blame, deaf had no terps years ago, but they made more progress than all the technology and access they can call on now. Apathy has killed off deaf pride and endevour.

With respect, I find lack of access to guided tours a trivial issue, when we have no access to the political systems or MP's at all but Mr Bruce who is out of touch and with the RNID, and all the claptrap that entails, and Jack Ashley who is "Nice but past it". Concentrate fire on the 3rd sector, then see what is really happening. Forget petitions too, you march, I will march with you. we need deaf on the street on the computer faffing about.

Of course Brit blogs on Yankee sites do not inspire the UK much... they are all on facebook messing about anyway, all is futile !


Nothing gets done on access issues because "they" gets away with it so can the rest down the middle to the bottom.

Alison is right Redditch should sue! and get redress this mouthpiece trash from an over paid staff at the Parliament - MP are not representative since they are not an “expert" on this matter.

The RNID PR machine should be jumping at this immediately and why ever they are not!

I too had asked Parliament to make available speech to text to hear the debate in the visitor gallery and that request was made many years back – they still have not got their act together.
The Sergeant at Arms said “we are currently in the process of looking into this access provision for d/Deaf people”

I had lobbied Baroness Turner of Camden to no effect – my neighbour!

I gave up knowing that politic are for the able, rich and those who can shout loudest. Deaf community in spirit has become broken working as partners. This is the damage and the failure to get all d/Deaf people together to shout for a common aim “ACCESS” but unfortunately it was BSL and I think it was a big mistake.

I had visited Washington DC congress and was supplied with a sign language terp who did it for me in SSE unfortunately no Hearing loop was supplied. However, they do not provided good access in the visitor gallery at that time. (2007)

DEAF issues are well and truly side lined by an ineffective deaf org right across the board that can and should be putting pressure on the Government to show transparent their duties.

over and out

Amen to all that... but they are ineffective because deaf are lazy, and apathetic, let's not make excuses for them. No deaf members what do you expect by way of a voice ? The BDA is a spent force, the RNID doesn't want you.

But they cannot afford it, as they have to pay for their duck houses! Priorities, priorities!

Deaf or hard of hearing visitors:

An interpreter (BSL signer) may accompany you on a tour. Parliament staff will arrange this through the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) if given advance warning - but be aware there is heavy demand.

Visitors to the public galleries and committee Rooms must arrange their own interpreters and we require advance notification of their attendance. Contact the Admission Order Officer on 020 7219 3700. The public galleries and committee rooms are fitted with induction loops.

Deaf or hard of hearing visitors:

An interpreter (BSL signer) may accompany you on a tour. Parliament staff will arrange this through the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) if given advance warning - but be aware there is heavy demand.

Visitors to the public galleries and committee Rooms must arrange their own interpreters and we require advance notification of their attendance. Contact the Admission Order Officer on 020 7219 3700. The public galleries and committee rooms are fitted with induction loops.

MM.

I do resent the tone "Deaf are lazy" It is a very unkind statement to make.
Many d/Deaf are certainly not but have limitations to what they can do!

I know of some that are good at doing the walk rather than the talks which you in yourself seem to be very good at “talking” and having a go.

Can you tell me with experience what have you managed to make the talk do the walk?

We are deprived by the "representative" interfering our way of our cultural life trying to get our voices across to the ignoramus political bigots!

As I said and I know Alison would not like hearing this but I finger at the right wing BSL militants for doing quite a lot of damage for the many of us trying to make "access" understood.

No doubt, they too have an agenda wishing to have their language recognised but hearies just cannot fathom between the differences "Deafness" and "Language" and loathe our in house fighting and bitchy talk so shut us down as a hopeless case.

This is because we have in front of us all the time "representative" who are not "expert by expereince" and that is going to get very much worse when we have people like you putting other d/Deaf people down in their struggle for support to advocate issues of concern.

How about a proactive solution and ideas to give us food for thought?


There as been a failure of the two vital functions
a) The need to make a commitment to equality and diversity right from the start and
b) The need to implement equal opportunities principles such as learning from “experts by experience” rather than “representative views“

Ref: National Centre for Involvement Guide 9

I've worn the t-shirt so long it's threadbare. I have campaigned, attended meetings from day one tried to put the holistic point of approach (Because I don't support singular mode campaigns at all). I have managed to provide access to hospitals here, get dedicated deaf lines set up, indeed made most of the running to get signed access such as it is where I live too.

I campaigned and had set up the first police access we ever had. What is the real point of 'comparing' who does the most campaigning ? we do as we are able, it's not a point scoring excersize....When Minicoms came out I had them put in every job centre and social service dept in my area, which was the first in Wales to be published via access in any Newspaper. Despite attacks I have to say from social services and the deaf 'community' who opposed me saying deaf haven't a telphone, and SS said "Deaf cannot use one what is the point ?" you couldn't credit it.

My current campaigns are lobbying for deaf presentations, primarily I hate charities that exclude the people they say they help. I want a global' approach and not piecemeal by decibel or language, that gets up my nose..

I have not been successful at that. I Keep trying, I am up against a charioty of £50m a year with allthe firepower they have, I see other deaf content to be takers, and not givers.. Ideally we would all work together, I find deaf cultural attitude a barrier to advance, because they appear to not want to work with other people but go their own way, I say what good has it done them or us ?

I feel I am spelling out certain realities and changes culture HAS to make, it is only a matter of when not if. I do feel a number of deaf are very lazy, (hard of Hearing too as there are MORE of them !).

How much experience do I need ? I would think two thirds of my entire life enough,and none of the support others take for granted, it has been honed the hard way, perhaps that is evident. The deaf community lobbies (When they can find time between raves), via their social aspect, I think it is highly possible that is why I don't bridge that campaigning gap, because I have no time I feel to play at being social, I am more effective on my own in that respect.

Every meeting I ever attended with 'Deaf' turned out to be a social meet up and deteriorated to nothing getting done, and my time being wasted. I didn't want a part of that.

They'd attend a fridge opening to talk away. I am NOT a representative of anyone but myself, my way or the highway usually, obviously this doesn't make for entente but, I am asking really they go back to their roots, not destroy them. It seems nothing short of a bomb under their bums is going to do it,nopain, no gain.

We use our lobbying power or we lose it, that includes access too. I want a more militant approach to things. 30 years of 'meetings' has shown me I have wasted my time at them.

Can I raise the question of exactly how much use. BSL trained member of staff will be to Deaf users who only communicate with BSL?
BSL level 1 skills are no substitute genuinely trained BSL interpreters!

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