DAMHA has received the Louder than Words™ charter mark from Action on Hearing Loss, the new name for the Royal National Institute for the Deaf (RNID).
The Association, which is based in Chester-le-Street and owns over 1,700 homes across the North East, achieved the charter mark after undergoing a rigorous assessment process.
It started with a benchmarking exercise against a set of key standards, which included having clear and visible deaf-aware policies, meeting requests for communication support whenever requested and training staff to communicate appropriately with customers who suffer from hearing loss.
The Association then had to implement the recommendations set out in our benchmark report within an agreed timescale. At the end an audit was carried out to see if the standards were being met.
DAMHA Chief Executive Paul Mullis said: “We are absolutely delighted to have achieved this national standard and it was made possible by the hard work and dedication of our staff.
“As an organisation, given the nature of our customer group, it is important that we understand the barriers people can face when they are deaf or hard of hearing, and to ensure when they come into contact with us, their experience is positive and fully inclusive.
“By being granted the Louder than Words standard we are demonstrating our commitment to delivering the highest quality of service possible to all our residents and service-users, as well as making us a better place to work or be a Trustee for those with hearing problems.
David Sloan from Action on Hearing Loss said: “It’s crucial that organisations such as housing associations ensure accessibility of their services as a fundamental part of their service delivery planning.
“One in six of the UK population have hearing loss. When you extrapolate that across an organisations workforce and residents it makes sense to demonstrate good practice and have it recognised in this way.
It’s been a pleasure working with such a committed team at DAMHA that join a select group of housing associations across the UK which have achieved or continue to work towards a full charter mark status.”