Bradford bus drivers learn to sign for deaf customers
Bus drivers in Bradford have been offered sign language lessons from a local charity so that staff can more easily assist deaf and hard of hearing customers.
First Bradford recently approached the Bradford Deaf Community Association so that it could improve the customer service experience for deaf and hard of hearing customers. The charity has attended the depot at Bowling Back Lane over the last month and has run bespoke workshops with drivers.
The workshops have focussed on teaching drivers signs they will find useful in their daily roles – as well as giving an insight into what it’s like to have a hearing problem when boarding a bus. Key focusses included; learning the alphabet, times of the day and evening and how to explain if there’s a delay in the service and why.
Speaking about the workshops, Christine from Bradford Deaf Community Association, said: “All of the drivers who attended the workshops were really engaged with the activity. By the end of each session most drivers were confident how to sign common phrases that will be helpful when explaining something to deaf customers, such as; a pass being out of date, how many children are with you, how old is this child etc. We also provided drivers with useful tips on deaf awareness that will help to improve the customer experience for deaf and hard of hearing people such as; keeping a reasonable distance, not having your hands in front of your face when talking, facing the person and speaking at a reasonable pace.”
First Bradford also offers customers the option to show a card to the driver if they wish to discreetly make them aware of an unseen disability.