Help & Advice16th May 2014

Why is legal advice so important?

Accessing deaf friendly legal advice can be problematic

by Rob Wilks

ddMost of us will need legal advice at some point in our lives.  Some of the most common issues that are dealt with are buying a house, getting a divorce or making a will.  Other issues include discrimination, redundancy or dismissal from work or starting your own business.

D/deaf and hard of hearing people are no different.  They too will also need legal advice at some point in their lives. 

The law can be complicated, so it is important to get the best advice possible to achieve the best possible outcomes, and solicitors are the experts when it comes to the law and how it affects you.

The problem is, there are very few law firms and solicitors who are D/deaf aware and willing to take on the burden of providing communication support.  Many communication service professionals complain that solicitors are one of the worst professions for refusing or making it clear their reluctance to pay for communication support to make their services accessible for D/deaf and hard of hearing people. 

This has been recognised in papers such as the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s “Responding to discrimination: the geography and geometry of advice provision in England, Scotland and Wales” (July 2009) and the Legal Services Consumer Panel’s Legal Choices – Silent Process: Engaging legal services when you do not hear” (March 2012).

So what is the solution?  To get legal advice from a Deaf solicitor who is able to use D/deaf and hard of hearing clients’ preferred communication methods, who understands and empathises with the obstacles and barriers that D/deaf people face every day and who is committed to ensuring that legal advice is accessible and communicated effectively.

I am able to advise in most areas of law, including discrimination, divorce, family and employment matters, as well as provide business support and will-writing services.

So if you need legal advice, you know it makes sense; get in touch with Law Wilks.

Article by Rob Wilks

posted in Community / Help & Advice

16th May 2014