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      Welsh Ambulance Service is awarded for being deaf friendly

      07 September 2017

      Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust has been rewarded for being accessible to deaf people.

      The organisation was awarded The People’s Choice Award at Action on Hearing Loss Cymru’s Excellence Wales Awards, for their innovative use of technology through their mobile app, which enables paramedics to communicate with deaf people in an emergency through the use of pictures.

      The charity’s annual awards recognise businesses that take steps to make their services accessible to the 575,500 people in Wales who are deaf or have hearing loss.

      Four Welsh organisations were presented with awards for their efforts to create a deaf-friendly Wales.

      Speaking at the ceremony, Leanne Hawker from the Welsh Ambulance said, “Being able to communicate with deaf people when they’re receiving emergency medical treatment can mean the difference between life and death, which is why we developed our app. We know that it has made a difference for both staff and patients so we’re delighted to have won the People’s Choice Award.

      “We really do recognise the importance of ensuring that we are accessible to everyone and we’re looking to continuing to improve our service in the years to come.”

      Three other awards were decided by an independent panel, made up of people who are deaf or have hearing loss.

      The full list of winners was:

      Service Excellence Award sponsored by Hugh James solicitors

      Winner: National Assembly for Wales

      Runner Up: Western Power Distribution

      Excellence in Health Award

      Winner: Cwm Taf University Health Board

      Runner Up: Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust

      Excellence in Arts and Entertainment Award

      Winner: Sherman Theatre Cardiff

      Runner Up: Taking Flight Theatre Company

      People’s Choice Award sponsored by

      Winner: Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust

      Richard Williams, Director of Action on Hearing Loss Cymru, said, “The judging panel had the difficult job of deciding the winners from an impressive shortlist, but I think they have done a fantastic job. All our winners prove that simple changes can make the lives of people with hearing loss more manageable on a day-to-day basis.

      “I hope that organisations across Wales are inspired by our winners and start thinking about the simple changes they can make to ensure their services are accessible to the one-in-six people who are deaf or have hearing loss.”

      The Excellence Awards were established by Action on Hearing Loss Cymru in 2015 to recognise businesses and organisations that take steps to support the 575,500 people in Wales who have varying degrees of hearing loss.

      The awards were held at Cardiff’s St David’s Hotel on 5 May, presented by ITV Wales News reporter Megan Boot.

      Contact for media enquiries:

      Katie Chappelle, Communications and Campaigns Officer, Action on Hearing Loss Cymru, 029 2033 3034,

      Simple communication tips when speaking to someone with hearing loss
      - Do not speak too quickly and ensure that the person you are conversing with can see your face clearly to aid their lip-reading.

      - Make sure that any loop system is working and switched on for any customers with hearing aids.

      - If you are using communication support, always remember to talk directly to the person you are communicating with, not the interpreter.

      - Find a suitable place to talk, with good lighting and away from noise and distractions.

      Notes to editors

      • Action on Hearing Loss Cymru is the Wales arm of Action on Hearing Loss, formerly the RNID.
      • Our staff and volunteers provide specialist care and support services for deaf people with additional needs and community health services to assist people to manage their hearing loss.
      • Action on Hearing Loss invests more than £1.5million into research each year and our biomedical team are working to find a cure for hearing loss within a generation.
      • For more information visit