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Sign Language: North East Region

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 26 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what steps he has taken to increase the availability of basic and advanced sign language training in the North East region for adults, children and young people. (183723)

The Department is working closely with the Learning and Skills Council to ensure that there are opportunities available to meet the needs of learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities. This is a priority identified in the Learning and Skills Council’s Statement of Priorities for the funding period 2008/09 to 2010/11.

Building on this the Learning and Skills Council North East region indicate that there are 250 courses in Sign Language at various levels being delivered in the region. The region has given a commitment within its regional strategy for learners with learning difficulties and/or disabilities “Meeting Need: Raising Aspiration”, to ensure that provision that equips learners, or people who support learners, to communicate or develop their specialised skills eg British Sign Language, is protected within the balance and mix of provision. In addition there are several projects being undertaken aimed at raising awareness of hearing impairment issues, to build capacity of staff in meeting the needs of learners with hearing impairments and to increase the support to learners.