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BID Services' Covid 19 Accessible Information Campaign

Birmingham City Council recognises BID Services’ efforts to ensure the Deaf community have access to Covid 19 guidelines and information.

Lack of access to information for the Deaf community has been a huge area of concern since the pandemic began back in March. Government updates, through the daily briefings during the height of lockdown, government guidelines and information about testing and the test and trace system has been largely inaccessible to the Deaf community. This has been highlighted recently by the #WhereistheInterpreter campaign which has been working to ensure that British Sign Language (BSL) Interpreters are present at government briefings. This has been happening in other countries, however, in England this has not happened meaning those who are Deaf do not have access to this vital information.

BID Services has been working to address this issue. Not only are we supporting the #WhereistheInterpreter campaign, but we have also be working hard to ensure information is getting to the Deaf community whether through 1:1 conversations, group discussions or sharing accessible information.

In Birmingham we have also been fortunate enough to receive funding from Birmingham City Council (BCC) to deliver an accessible Covid 19 information campaign. Through this we have been creating BSL information videos, providing BSL translation for NHS videos and running accessible question and answer sessions for different age groups alongside creating and distributing easy read information and sharing other sources of accessible information, both on and offline.

Image shows a screenshot taken during an online question and answer session with Dr Justin Varney, Director of Public Health, Birmingham City Council, our Covid 19 Wellbeing Campaign Project Officer and our BSL Interpreter

BCC successfully applied for funding from Partnership for Healthy Cities (PHC) is a prestigious global network of 70 cities around the world supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies, in partnership with the World Health Organization and Vital Strategies. This funding has enabled organisations across Birmingham to share Covid 19 messages with vulnerable communities during the pandemic.

BID Services, as one of the funded organisations, has been highlighted for our innovative approaches by BCC: “Members of the deaf community have experienced issues of isolation and communication during the COVID-19 pandemic and BID Services has taken innovative proactive approaches to addressing the needs of this community in Birmingham in several different ways to enable access to relevant COVID-19 messages.”

We would like to say thank you to BCC for your support and acknowledgment of our work on this campaign. We look forward to continuing working with BCC to ensure the Deaf community has access to information going forwards.

To keep up to date with the latest Covid 19 updates, follow our Facebook page or visit our Covid 19 BSL playlist on YouTube:

To find out more about our Covid 19 information campaign or how you can register to receive information, contact our Access Team on:

  • Mobile: 07595 086540
  • Telephone: 0121 450 5120
  • Email: access@bid.org.uk

Posted 15th October 2020