Monday, 19 September 2016

Deaf denied communication support for welfare assessment.

Deaf sign languageSally and Paul had to cancel assessment meetings because no interpreter arrived. Some deaf people in Wales are being left without interpreters for crucial benefit assessments.

ITV Cymru Wales has been told how it's left people feeling stressed and depressed as the process is drawn out.  The issue has arisen as people apply for Personal Independence Payments. This is the benefit that is replacing Disability Living Allowance.

Sally Saunders and her husband, Paul, had to rearrange two PIP assessments because no interpreter arrived.  They say it makes them feel like they are at the back of the queue.  The charity, Action on Hearing Loss says it's clear evidence that deaf people are being treated differently and have called for more to be done to ensure they can access assessments properly.

One deaf person had to resort to using pen and paper to communicate with the assessor because an interpreter was not present.  The Department for Work and Pensions says the assessments are carried out on their behalf by another company, Capita, but that it expects the highest standards to be kept by contractors.

Responding to ITV Wales's request for an interview into what might be causing interpreters not to arrive at assessments, Capita said: "We provide a range of adjustments to accommodate the needs of Deaf people and those with hearing loss. We work with Deaf and hearing loss organisations to continually review our processes to ensure they meet the access needs of our claimants."

SOURCE

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