Arriva North East has become the region's first travel provider to boast "deaf aware champions" thanks to a national Get Deaf Aware campaign.
Eight Arriva North East employees attended the Get Deaf Aware (GDA) training course which aims to increase awareness of the everyday communication barriers faced by people wit
h a hearing loss and included practical exercises as well as examples of clearer communication methods.
Tony Hart, training and development manager for Arriva North East, said: “We recognise the importance of training frontline staff to deal with the specific needs of each customer.
“We now have eight Deaf Aware Champions who can ensure that Arriva maintains first class customer service for people who are deaf or have a hearing loss.
“Our champions have a new-found confidence because they know exactly what they need to do to communicate effectively with a deaf person and, going forward, they will be able to pass on what they have learned to their colleagues.”
Get Deaf Aware is a national campaign to enhance awareness and best practice in everyday deaf and hard of hearing communications through increased understanding and training. Course content, qualifications and accreditation come from Signature, the UK’s leading awarding body in deaf communication.
Signature’s commercial services manager Emma Mortimer said: “Many employers are acknowledging that they need to offer a better service for their deaf customers. Arriva has done exactly that.”