DeafWatch Mk4 High Power transmitter

Twenty years ago I started my career in the provision of fire safety and alerting systems for Deaf and hard of hearing people.

Back in 2001, the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) was only five years old. The ink still fresh and the ramifications of what it would mean for building design, operation and safety were only just starting to become clear.

Convincing people to adopt a fire alarm for Deaf people was a real struggle. Some people were sympathetic, but many were dismissive. The minimisation and marginalisation of this issue was endemic.

However, times have changed. There has been a generational change in the fire alarm industry, moving from scepticism to visual alarms become a cornerstone of fire safety. That is long awaited and very welcome.

What does that mean for my journey? For my company? For Deaf paging?

Well, positive things, so far. We are starting to win the argument over fire safety for this invisible disabled population. The desire for change is there. The conversation has moved from an “if” to a “when”.

Times are tough at the moment, doubly so in the UK if the experts are to be believed. However we have a way to save Deaf people, save hassle and save money. That’s got to be worth a conversation.

#cibse #cpdtraining #longview #firesafety #deafawareness #positivechange