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Karen Welch of Western Power Distribution, winners of Service Excellence

Welsh businesses that excel in deaf friendly and supportive practices invited to shine in charity awards

Organisations in Wales that go above and beyond to create workspaces and services that support the one in six people in Wales who are deaf or hard of hearing are being encouraged to enter Wales’ only deaf friendly awards.

The Action on Hearing Loss Cymru Excellence Wales awards, which have been running since 2015, recognise businesses that take steps to make their services accessible to the 575,500 people in Wales who are deaf or have hearing loss.

Action on Hearing Loss, formerly RNID, has been supporting deaf people and people with hearing loss and tinnitus since 1911. The charity launched the Excellence Wales awards to celebrate organisations who excel in making their services and workspaces truly accessible to those affected by hearing loss.

The 2019 Excellence Wales awards are open to all public services, social enterprises, private companies and voluntary organisations providing services in Wales. There are eight award categories including Excellence in Health services, Excellence in the Art and Entertainment Industry and overall Excellent Employer.

Entries will be judged by a panel of people who are deaf or have hearing loss and the awards will be presented to the country’s eight most outstanding organisations at a ceremony at St David’s Hotel, Cardiff Bay, on Friday 17th May. ITV Wales correspondent, Carole Green, will be hosting the awards, while AOHL volunteer, donors and previous award winners will also be attendance. Western Power Distribution, winners of last year’s overall Excellence in Service award, will be supporting this year’s event.

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A special award will also be presented to an organisation in Wales which is taking positive steps to improve and develop their services for people who are deaf or have hearing loss. The People’s Choice award will be voted for by the public and awarded to an organisation which provides outstanding assistance to people who are deaf or have hearing loss.

Daisy Cole, Director for Wales at Action on Hearing Loss, said:

“The awards are a key event in the charity’s calendar and we always enjoy reading through the nominations we receive detailing the work of some of Wales’ most outstanding organisations. The changes they make to their workplaces and customer facing environments to make sure their services are accessible to the 20 percent of the Welsh public that are deaf or hard of hearing are amazing to see. Since launching the honours five years ago, we have presented Excellence Awards to over 20 Welsh companies from across Wales and we can’t wait to see what this year’s competition holds.

“Deafness and hearing loss is on the rise and our research shows that by 2035, one-fifth of all people in Wales will be affected, often with a devastating impact to their daily lives. By placing a spotlight on excellence in supporting people with hearing loss as customers and employers we can change lives and provide inspiration to other employers to follow suit.”

Nominations for the awards are now open and the headline for entries is Sunday 17th March 2019. Organisations can submit nominations via the Action on Hearing Loss website (https://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/about-us/our-work-across-the-uk/wales/the-excellence-wales-awards/entry-form/) or by emailing [email protected] or calling 02920 333034.

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