NNUH nominated for Hearing Dog Friendly Award

Hearing dog recipient Barbara Bird from North Walsham in Norfolk has nominated the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital for the ‘Hearing Dog Friendly Award’ organised by the charity Hearing Dogs for Deaf People that trained Barbara's hearing dog Ceri.

Barbara says: “My hearing dog Ceri has been with me and made most welcome. Ceri was even allowed into X-Ray with me where she sat quietly on my coat throughout the procedure. I feel very proud of her!”

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital director of nursing Christine Baxter said: “We are delighted that Mrs Bird has nominated us for this award. It’s very pleasing to get feedback from patients regarding our services being accessible and welcoming. We would like to wish Mrs Bird and Ceri well and thank her for taking time to nominate us.”

Hearing Dogs for Deaf People launched the Hearing Dog Friendly Award in 2003 to recognise and encourage good practice among service providers across the UK. Each year awards are presented to the towns, cities and service providers that are judged to be the most hearing dog friendly. Judges rate entries to the town or city category in four areas:

  • transport
  • shops / supermarkets
  • pubs / restaurants
  • hotels

– and score each nomination on accessibility and attitude, assessing whether steps have been taken to ensure deaf people and their hearing dogs have access to shops and other venues, and are made to feel welcome. Individual service providers, including shops, guest houses, golf clubs and restaurants, are judged under similar criteria.

Due to the large numbers and high standard of entries in 2005, Hearing Dogs introduced gold, silver and bronze awards and will operate the same system in 2006. All award winners are guaranteed to receive very positive publicity, as the Charity is keen to encourage more towns and cities to become welcoming to hearing dogs, thus complying with the regulations under the Disability Discrimination Act (1995).

Hearing Dogs’ head of PR Jenny Moir says: “Hearing dogs are registered assistance dogs and as such should be afforded the same access to public places as guide dogs. With the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) now law, it is even more important for cities, towns and service providers to show they are compliant with the regulations. We launched this award both as a public thank you to people and places who already make a real effort to welcome and assist deaf people and their hearing dogs – and as an incentive to those who could make a huge difference by implementing a few changes.

“Hearing dogs come in all shapes and sizes but all are trained and cared for to the same high standard as guide dogs. In recognition of this fact, the Institutes of Environmental Health Officers across the UK authorise that hearing dogs should be permitted in all the public places included in our Hearing Dog Friendly award.”

Visit Hearing Dogs for Deaf People’s web site at www.hearing-dogs.co.uk

Tuesday 23rd of May 2006 04:00:57 PM