The Frenchgate Shopping Centre, Doncaster, is engaging with the deaf community by forging a partnership with the Communication Specialist College Doncaster.
As part of the Centre’s on-going commitment to providing outstanding customer service, they have teamed up with the College who are providing deaf awareness training to a number of employees.
The College will be providing a six week deaf awareness training programme for 12 employees at the Frenchgate including members of the Centre’s management, customer service, security, cleaning and car park teams.
Frenchgate Centre manager Laurie Barton Wright said: “We approached the Communication Specialist College Doncaster to facilitate our deafness awareness training as we wanted to ensure that we could communicate fully and provide outstanding customer service to our deaf and hard of hearing customers.
“Once our members of staff have completed the training they will have a greater awareness of the needs of the deaf community and the issues they face as well improved communication and basic sign language skills.
“Last year we worked with Doncaster School for the Deaf as some of their pupils visited at Christmas time and help to teach Father Christmas sign language so it’s great to be working with the College this year.
“The training is already going really well and we will be revisiting the programme in May as part of deafness awareness week. “
Nicola Keane, pathway leader at Communication Specialist College Doncaster, added: “There is a really big deaf community in and around Doncaster and I am sure that this initiative at the Frenchgate will be really beneficial to them.
“Our member of staff who is facilitating the training with the Frenchgate is a teacher at the College is deaf, so she is helping the Centre and its staff to ensure they have a greater understanding of any issues a deaf person may encounter when shopping, which I am sure they will find useful.
“I am a regular shopper at the Frenchgate and to know that they care about their deaf and hard of hearing consumers is fantastic. I am sure that members of the deaf community will be reassured that when they are shopping at the Frenchgate and require any assistance there will be fully trained members of staff who can help them.”