600 signature petition handed over to Conwy councillors by deaf community

Reporter:

Stephanie Price

A CAMPAIGN group fighting to reinstate services to the deaf community have handed in a petition with over 600 signatures to Conwy councillors.

The group wants the reinstatement of sign language interpreters and help to make phone calls, read letters and help with difficulties deaf people experience with communication - services which were axed last August.

Representatives of the group met with Aberconwy AM Janet Finch-Saunders and North Wales AM Mark Isherwood and handed the petition to councillors Sarah Allardice and Joan Vaughan at Conwy County Borough Council’s Bodlondeb HQ.

Rosemary Thompson of the campaign group said: “We have really struggled since August when our services were taken away. We can access limited services through the Conwy Access Team but they are not deaf aware and turn us away when there is no interpreter. 

“As English is not our first language there’s a lot of things we need help with like reading letters and making phone calls – not all of us have family members who can help us with this.

“People in the deaf community in Flintshire and Denbighshire still have access to these services. We thought we might access services through them but as we are Conwy residents we can’t.”

Mark Isherwood, also a patron of the North Wales Deaf Association, said: “I had been in correspondence with Conwy Council regarding this since last August and it is vital the council acknowledges their legal duty to evolve a new relationship between those who deliver services and those who receive them – which involves people in the design and delivery of those services.” 

A spokesperson for Conwy Council said: “The council recognises that petitions are one way in which people can let us know their concerns.”

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