Lloyds bank #Fail

Major Fail!

A response from my bank. It took an age rod find a contact email on their website to complain. Everything was phone numbers. Secondly when I did complete to online complaint, the form insisted on me putting in a telephone number and a time for them to call me to discuss my complaint. Er no I don’t think so!

“Thank you for letting us know about the problem you have with the services Lloyds Banking Group. We always welcome customer comments as it helps us to put things right for you.

As you mentioned you are not happy that Lloyds Banking Group do not offer any other services other than text relay and text phone for our hearing impaired customers to complete their every day banking queries. You have seen that other banks offer a mobile text service to answer fraud calls where you just need to answer yes or no and you have seen that there has been an online chat service introduced by other high street banks. You would like Lloyds Banking Group to offer these additional services as you do not use text relay as you or text phone. You also feel that Lloyds Banking Group is discriminating against you due to the limited services we offer.

We appreciate how this situation has made you feel, however, our review shows no mistake was made.

Lloyds Banking Group currently offer text relay and text phone to our hearing impaired customers there is also a British sign language video relay calls that our customers are able to use through our website the opening hours for this are Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm but I understand that you do not use sign language as a form of communication. If you need a, lip speaker or palantypist to support a branch meeting, please let our branch colleagues know. They will provide this support for you. You should expect there to be a two or three week wait for interpretation services.

If you wish to provide your own interpreter we will be happy to pay for this. We simply need evidence such as a business card or letter heading to show that the interpreter has been accredited by the Council for the Advancement of Communication with Deaf People.

We did do a pilot last year around a solution called TexBox which uses an application called TexMee. We have some challenges to overcome in respect of implementing this solution and are actively progressing this and looking at potential other ways to implement this. At this stage I am unable to give any timescales although I would say that it definitely won’t be before next year. In addition, we have recently run a group wide accessibility challenge and had a great response. We have collated 514 ideas to improve products and services for customers with a variety of disabilities, which we will be progressing over the coming months. Specific details will not be disclosed and until we know for sure they can be implemented.

Our Disability Services Manager is currently looking into the email contact option as we are aware that other organisations like First Direct offer this contact method. Web chat is also something that we would consider although we are keen to finalise our reviews into texmee service before we look at any further options.

I trust I’ve explained the reasons for our decision. If you wish, you now have the option to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service, so long as you do this within six months of this letter. Please find a copy of their leaflet enclosed. I’ve also enclosed a copy of our complaint information which gives you details of our commitment to how we deal with complaints.

It’s important we’ve resolved your complaint fairly. If you feel we’ve misunderstood your complaint, or you’ve any questions or further information, please contact me.”

City Link couriers

i’m sick of being deaf.

I was expecting a parcel delivering today (a used kindle fire from Cash Converters in Wallasy, wherever that is.) Because nothing will wake me up, including a shakeawake clock i have, i slept on the settee.

I woke at 9am stiff as a board to find a card behind the door saying that City Link had called at 8.55am. It was a formula card with details about 2nd deliveries and a bit about tracking your parcel etc. I went to their website and it said that my parcel had been successfully delivered and signed for by someone called Rushworth. Obviously i looked at the card again and the bit about the address of the person signing was blank.

To cut a long story short, the driver is coming back tomorrow sometime between 7.30 and 5.30 to backtrack and see if he can remember where he left the parcel.

If only i’d heard him the first time.

National Lipreading Awareness Week

It’s Lipreading Week 9th – 13th September.

Most people misunderstand Deafness
It’s invisible but it can change your life

You can feel excluded and frustrated and your confidence and independence are undermined

Come and find out how to cope don’t struggle on alone

Sessions available in your area

National Lipreading Awareness Week

New access guidance for guide & assistance dogs

New guidance has been published to make businesses accessible to guide and assistance dogs. The Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have published a guide to help businesses comply with the Equality Act 2010 and welcome guide and assistance dogs onto their premises.

Assistance Dogs: A Guide For All Businesses

Why deaf awareness?

When you think about the people you meet and talk to in your everyday life, I wonder if it crosses your mind that one in every six has a hearing loss? That’s 10 million people in the UK and this number is growing steadily with exposure to loud noises at an ever younger age. Over half of people who are 60 or older have a hearing loss (and one in six has a vision loss, that equates to approximately 2 million who may be partially deafblind).

So, what’s a deaf person? Most of you will think that someone is a deaf person because they use sign language.  But you may be mistaken. There are an estimated 50,000 to 75,000 deaf people who use British Sign Language (BSL), the rest will be using hearing aids, cochlear implants, speech and lipreading.

How would you recognise a deaf person? The most obvious clues are they don’t respond to noises behind them and may be looking at you intently when communicating. They’re lipreading, and some of them probably don’t realise they are doing it.  If you see someone wearing a hearing aid, don’t assume they are hearing like you are. The majority of deaf people have what is called a perceptive hearing loss, this is permanent, and it makes sounds not just quieter, but distorted too.  Have a listen to this simulation.

Blindness cuts you off from things, but Deafness cuts you off from people says Helen Keller.  How true this is. Communication is probably the most important thing to a person.  If you can’t communicate you get frustrated, lose your confidence, withdraw from socialising with others and some people become suicidal and think life is over.  Friends and colleagues think the person is being rude, ignoring them on purpose, or is simply not interested in them anymore. Yet communication is needed to tell people what you want or need, how you feel and to take and give instructions.  It is no surprise then, that deafness is a major cause of mental health issues.

So how can deaf awareness help? The best deaf awareness training will equip you with the knowledge to understand exactly how deafness affects an individual and an understanding of the diversity of people who are deaf and how they react to it.  From those who think being deaf is wonderful, to the point where they celebrate the birth of a deaf baby, to those who literally fall apart when they lose all of their hearing, sometimes overnight.

It will also give you skills to speak clearly, know tactics you can use to make yourself understood and show you why deaf people make so many mistakes in lipreading and appear to not understand you.  It’s not just about what you see on the lips, lipreading is only 30% accurate, the rest is intelligent guesswork and can be extremely tiring.

Deaf awareness will also teach you about the support that is available to aid communication and access, from registered communication professionals to technological equipment, like loop systems, TextRelay and other aids.

Deaf people really do blossom when they are treated with respect and given the opportunity to partake in things that other people take for granted. Such things are opportunities to go to the local leisure centre, to go to social events, to attend a subtitled screening at the local cinema, or even a tour of the local museum. If you know how to make these accessible, you’re onto a winner. After all, deaf people are legally entitled to these things, it’s a fact though that most of them are still a luxury or out of reach for many. Don’t think that we can “make do” using family or having a sympathetic friend to be with us to do this communication support. It’s not independence, it makes us “needy” and reliant on people. We have a right to make our own choices in life and the freedom to say so without being influenced by the opinion of others. That’s the difference between providing professional communication support or not.

So next time you see an opportunity to go on a course to learn about deafness, do take it up. Don’t think that by learning BSL only is going to make you “deaf aware”. It won’t. You need to know who you’re learning it for before you start.  If you would like a course run in your local area, do get in touch with us, we are here to make things better and raise this much needed awareness throughout the UK. The more people who are privy to this valuable knowledge, the better we can all make life for the 10 million people who are living with deafness every day in silence.