Sign language interpreters are to be permitted in jury rooms in England and Wales, enabling most deaf people to take part in jury service for the first time.
The planned legal change announced on Monday will amend strict rules that mandate only the 12 selected members of a jury can be present during private deliberations to also allow for a British Sign Language interpreter where needed.
While there is no specific ban on deaf people serving on juries, many have previously been found ineligible to serve or left to rely on lip-reading and limited hearing during private jury discussions.
Tune in to BBC Radio Wiltshire tomorrow morning (12/03/21) at 7:40am to catch WDDA Trustee, George Raggett, give our reaction to the news that the law has been reformed to allow BSL Interpreters to assist Deaf Jurors in jury trials.
You asked, we delivered! WDDA is pleased to introduce Deaf Communication Cards to help improve the experience of the 2000+ Deaf BSL users accessing services in Dorset.
The purpose of the wallet-sized cards is to help identify patients/service users immediately as deaf and that there is a need for communications support. The card also includes details of local BSL interpreter services and a 24 hour contact number so that healthcare providers/service providers know how to book a BSL interpreter.
Now that we have the WDDA Deaf Communication Card we want to get them into the hands of every Deaf BSL user in Dorset!
We are providing these cards free of charge to all Deaf BSL users so please just get in touch if you would like one. If you are an agency working with Deaf BSL users and would be interested in holding a supply of cards to give to your service users please email email@example.com.
We are currently looking at distribution points – local Deaf Clubs, Audiology Departments, Libraries… We’d value your input on this. Please comment below with your suggestions.
Coming soon – WDDA Hard of Hearing Communication Cards.