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June 1, 2006

FLA shows commitment to deaf and hard of hearing people

From: Creditman - UK - Jun 1, 2006

The FLA (Finance & Leasing Association), the principal representative of the asset, consumer and motor finance sector in the UK, has been awarded the Louder Than Words charter, which honours them for offering quality services to deaf and hard of hearing people.

The charter is awarded by RNID, the largest charity representing the 9 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK. The Louder Than Words charter outlines ten standards which an organisation or business must adhere to, in order to achieve the highest level of accessibility for deaf people. RNID worked together with staff at FLA, offering support and advice to improve the facilities and services available to all customers. A portable loop is now available in the reception area, and an infra red loop system has been installed in the meeting room, which means that deaf and hard of hearing people have equal access to FLA’s services. The FLA website has also been updated to be more accessible.

In line with the requirements set out in the charter, all frontline staff have received Deaf Awareness Training, provided by RNID, which means that now all staff have the skills they need to communicate effectively with their deaf and hard of hearing customers.

Damian Brewer, Louder Than Words Access Co-ordinator, says: “Deaf and hard of hearing people are often overlooked when organisations think about disability access. However, with help and support from RNID, the FLA has achieved the highest standard of accessibility, including staff deaf awareness training. The organisation has now been officially recognised as offering an uncompromised service to deaf and hard of hearing people, and has effectively opened its doors to the nine million deaf and hard of hearing people in the UK who may have previously found it impossible to access its services.”

Martin Hall, FLA Director General, who welcomes the award, says: “FLA is committed to ensuring equal access to our member and customer services. We strongly believe that the finance industry should be at the forefront of such initiatives.”

The ten quality standards outlined in the charter cover equipment provision, deaf awareness training, communication support and employment. The Louder Than Words charter helps organisations to comply with the Disability Discrimination Act and highlights that the organisation has a genuine commitment towards deaf and hard of hearing people.

© 2006 Creditman