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December 3, 2003

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From: Bucks Free Press, UK - Dec 3, 2003

Actress opens charity's new Beaconsfield office

By Alice Eaton

A TOP actress helped open a charity's new premises in Beaconsfield and took the opportunity to speak out about discrimination against deaf people.

Deaf Sarah Beauvoison, who appeared in a recent epsisode of the BBC1 hospital drama Holby City, helped the charity Sign, which has moved into new offices in Baring Road, when she recounted her own experiences when she was a hospital patient.

She said: "I've been in hospital with no interpreter. It was a nightmare and it caused so much stress. I couldn't live without an interpreter because you just don't know what's going on."

Sign also announced new measures during the ceremony to prevent the likelihood of deaf people in Buckinghamshire developing mental health problems.

Fundraising manager Liz Slater said: "Our new initiative is to provide a service that will help deaf people from suffering problems with mental health due to frustration and isolation.

"We are working with schools to hold after school clubs with deaf and hearing pupils so that the deaf children are integrated into a hearing society. We also want deaf people to be able to have interpreters at doctor's appointments so they can get across there symptoms.

These are all issues that can lead to isolation and mental health problems if not addressed."

Shadow health minister Tim Loughton was also at the opening and said: "Deaf people are being failed and discriminated against in too many ways.

"A lack of understanding for the need to fund interpreters and the lack of provision for appropriate communication aids mean that many deaf people are being left isolated, misunderstood and all too often, misdiagnosed."

6:08pm Wednesday 3rd December 2003

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