Western Power Distribution awarded for being deaf friendly
L-R Rebecca Woolley of Action on Hearing Loss Cymru and Karen Welch of Western Power Distribution

Western Power Distribution (WPD) received the Service Excellence Award from the Action on Hearing Loss Cymru for accessibility to deaf people.

The company received the award for its work in ensuring that frontline staff receive deaf-awareness training, that deaf employees are supported in the workplace and that customers with hearing loss can use text message or British Sign Language interpreters to interact with the company. The award was decided by an independent panel of people who are deaf or have hearing loss.

WPD accepted the award at the Action on Hearing Loss Cymru’s Excellence Wales Awards ceremony on May 4.

The charity’s annual awards recognize businesses that take steps to make their services accessible to the 575,500 people in Wales who are deaf or have hearing loss.

“Being accessible to deaf people is very important, and this is especially true during a power cut or emergency,” said WPD’s Karen Welch. “We know that our efforts have made a positive difference to both staff and customers, so we’re delighted to have won this award.

“We recognize the importance of ensuring that deaf and hard of hearing people are able to communicate with us and we’re looking to continue to enhance our service in the years to come,” said Welch.

Four other awards were also decided by the independent panel. The People’s Choice Award, sponsored by WPD, was chosen by a public vote.

The full list of winners are:

People’s Choice Award sponsored by Western Power Distribution Winner:
Dental Clinical Board, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Excellence in Health Award (over 30 employees)
Winner: Dental Clinical Board, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Excellence in Health Award (under 30 employees)
Winner: Llandough Pulmonary Rehab Centre, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Excellence in Arts and Entertainment Award (over 30 employees)
Winner: Sherman Theatre, Cardiff

Excellence in Arts and Entertainment Award (under 30 employees)
Winner: Get the Chance

Service Excellence Award
Winner: Western Power Distribution

“The judging panel had the difficult job of deciding the winners from an impressive shortlist, but I think they have done a fantastic job,” said Rebecca Woolley, director of Action on Hearing Loss Cymru. “All our winners prove that simple changes can make the lives of people with hearing loss more manageable on a day-to-day basis.

“I hope that organizations across Wales are inspired by our winners and start thinking about the simple changes they can make to ensure their services are accessible to the one in six people who are deaf or have hearing loss.”

The Excellence Awards were established by Action on Hearing Loss Cymru in 2015 to recognize businesses and organizations that take steps to support the one in six people in Wales who have varying degrees of hearing loss.

The awards were held at Cardiff’s St David’s Hotel on May 4, presented by ITV Wales News reporter Megan Boot.

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