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Deaf awareness training to begin for London Overground staff

Posted: 23 September 2019 |

It is estimated that there are 11 million people who are deaf or have a hearing loss in the UK, many of whom use public transport in London.

Deaf awareness training to begin for London Overground staff

Arriva Rail London (ARL) has started deaf awareness training for hundreds of London Overground employees to improve journeys for deaf people and those with hearing impairments travelling across the capital.

ARL, which operates the London Overground on behalf of Transport for London (TfL), has developed a comprehensive training programme alongside Signly, Deafax and DCAL – University College London’s Deafness Cognition and Language Research Centre. The development of the programme has been funded by the Rail Safety and Standards Board (RSSB) and hopes to open up travel for hearing impaired passengers in London, giving them the confidence and support they need from staff to make safe journeys on the London Overground.

Stella Rogers, Arriva Rail London’s Customer Experience Director, said: “We are equipping our stations teams with the skills we need to support our passengers who are deaf or have a hearing loss. We are proud to play our part in giving customers the confidence to travel, providing an inclusive and accessible railway for London.”

It is estimated that one in six people are deaf or have a hearing loss in the UK; there are also over 150,000 British Sign Language users in the UK – many of whom travel by rail and have difficulty hearing and understanding announcements in stations.

Delivered by a deaf trainer, the training programme has been shaped by deaf people and those with a hearing loss, as well as station teams who assist passengers every day who are deaf or have a hearing loss, Training will cover a range of topics from deaf culture and identity, to degrees of deafness, communication barriers, lip reading, finger-spelling and techniques for assisting and communicating with customers who are deaf or have a hearing loss.

In total, 350 ARL employees will embark on the programme, which will bolster the current disability awareness training, as part of the customer service induction. Employees will be fully trained and ready to assist passengers by the end of 2019.

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