Image by photographer G.Whitmore

QUAD along with MECA (Mackworth Estate Community Association), Natalie Bamford from www.derbydaysout.co.uk  and Sarah Gatford, Consultant, Trainer and BSL / English Interpreter are asking the public to help make Derby the most D/deaf friendly city in the UK. The group, #DerbySigningCity have been shortlisted to win one of 40 awards of £10,000 from the Aviva Community Fund. They aim to get over 1,000 people taking part in a single mass sign language lesson and beat the World Record for the largest sign language lesson in the world.

Derby has the largest D/deaf population outside of London, with a large number of D/deaf-friendly organisations in the city, and #DerbySigningCity’s campaign aims to build on these foundations to make Derby recognised as the most D/deaf friendly city in the UK; to bridge the gap between D/deaf and hearing communities, build relationships, and bring people together.

Sarah Gatford commented “We aim to achieve greater inclusivity by making D/deaf people feel more valued in the city, and by helping hearing people feel more confident in communicating with D/deaf people. We will also raise awareness amongst hearing people about the D/deaf community in Derby as well as some of the issues and challenges that they face.” 

 Natalie Bamford said “Being known as the UK’s most D/deaf friendly city will bring benefits not only for people already living here, but also for people who may choose to live, work and play here in the future.”

Cllr Paul Pegg added “We hope this campaign will encourage even more businesses to become D/deaf-friendly, and will encourage more D/deaf-led organisations to move to the city. By promoting inclusivity, we will promote a wide recognition that every person, no matter whether they’re D/deaf or hearing, adds something to the whole feel of our City.”

Voting takes place between now and 21st November, each person has up to 10 votes but will need to register first through the following link:

https://community-fund.aviva.co.uk/voting/project/view/17-5955