Bridging the access gap

A NEW initiative to encourage more employees to take up sign language as an extra language and skill is now available in Forfar.

Award-winning Signs4Life is show-casing this local initiative to help staff to communicate and engage with their colleagues, service users and clients who may have hearing impairments in Forfar.

Signs4Life also offer disability, autism and visual impairment awareness workshops.

“You never know when you will come into contact with a client, a colleague or member of the public who is autistic, deaf or visually impaired,” explains Ms Fozia Parveen, Signs4Life managing director.

“There are over nine million deaf and hard of hearing people registered in the UK.

“We are working with organisations as varied as Specsavers, The British Red Cross, prisons, supermarkets, museums, schools and hospitals.

“Each of our workshops help you comply with the Disability Discrimination Act and Equality Acts 2010 and encourage a ‘can do’ approach to the 12 million people in the UK who have a physical, sensory or learning disability.”

Fozia has a younger sister Aneesa (aged ten) who was born hearing impaired which encouraged Fozia to learn sign language.

Fozia is a qualified optometrist and was recently nominated as Oxfam’s 100 most inspiring women of 2011 as part of their International Women’s Day centenary celebration.

She was also chosen to be featured in the book ‘Everywoman’s Modern Muse’ showcasing 100 businesswomen chosen nationally to inspire and mentor the next generation of businesswomen and include Fozia’s own business role-model Dame Mary Perkins, co-founder of Specsavers Opticians.

If you would like further information about the Signs4Life sign language courses in Forfar please get in touch with Fozia on 07964 019 764 or visit our interactive website www.signs4life.org.uk