Covid: Deaf woman wins claim over lack of sign language at briefings

A deaf woman has won a claim against the government after a judge found a lack of sign language at two Covid briefings “served to disempower, to frustrate and to marginalise”.
Katie Rowley, 36, from Leeds, started court action after the sessions went ahead without interpreters on screen. The government denied breaching its legal obligation to make broadcasts accessible to deaf people. In his ruling, a judge said the lack of provision constituted discrimination.
Ms Rowley launched the court action against Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove in relation to the “data briefings” on 21 September and 12 October 2020. She had argued that being unable to access the official information had caused her stress and affected her wellbeing.
Finding in her favour, Mr Justice Fordham said: “The lack of provision – the provision of subtitles only – was a failure of inclusion, suggestive of not being thought about, which served to disempower, to frustrate and to marginalise.” Though he agreed with Ms Rowley’s claim in respect of both, the judge said subsequent briefings were not in breach of equality legislation. The level of damages awarded to the claimant would be assessed by a county court judge, he added.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leeds-57998047

Published by charlesghose

Charles Ghose graduated the University Of Greenwich London with a BA in Communications and Media. His university life was very enriched by his very active participation in various University societies. Charles ran the gamut of campus student communities; he was involved with the Politics and Debate Societies, Students Union, and University Of Greenwich Choir, and chamber choir. Charles Ghose acts as an independent contractor working in the very lucrative Freelance Translator Field. He has been hired by various International Humanitarian NGO's, private corporations, and The Overseas Fellowship Mission. Charles has also lead workshops for employers on the theme of mindfulness training courses for the improvement of employee’s health and well-being. Charles is a strong believer that a happy work force adds to higher productivity and loyalty to a company by employees.

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