Ofcom: Communications equality for deaf people and those with speech impairments

Neil Samson and Richard Howard


"Deaf people are at risk because of the inability to communicate effectively"

Profoundly deaf, Glasgow

This piece of strategic research that has transformed the way that communications services deal with deaf people and those with speech impediments, as well as influencing the way that Ofcom, adopts policy making going forward. It has had a substantial impact on the lives of individuals who use this service and their feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Ofcom identified a need to better understand the communications needs of deaf people and those with speech impairments, with a focus on the Text Relay service.

The approach was both innovative and participant-focused at all stages.

  • Multiple recruitment methods were used to engage the widest range of participants
  • A user group was convened to co-create the research materials
  • Participants in both stages were given a choice of different methods of participating and provided with appropriate communications support services.