News12th February 2014

Signature 2014 Awards Press Release

National charity teams up with CBeebies and Remark Media to launch 2014’s prestigious Signature deaf and deafblind awards

by Sarah Lawrence

A highlight on the deaf and deaf blind calendar, the 2014 Signature Annual Awards launch on February 12th.

Organised by charity and leading awarding body for deaf communications Signature, the annual awards honour the achievements of individuals, organisations and community groups from across the UK and Ireland, who are striving to break down the social and communication barriers between the wider UK population and its 10 million deaf and hard of hearing population.

The widely recognised awards, now celebrating their sixth year, promise to be bigger and better than ever and are calling for people to nominate their heroes of deaf and deafblind communication.

​Nominations will officially open this month for the eight national award categories; Teacher of the Year, Learner of the Year, Young Learner of the Year, Centre of the Year, Communication Professional of the Year, Organisational Achievement, Community Spirit and the Joseph Maitland Robinson Award for Outstanding Contribution.

A regional search will be launched for the Teacher of the Year and Learner of the Year categories, with regional winners from both categories then being shortlisted for the national awards.

Signature Chief Executive Jim Edwards said: "The Signature Annual Awards continue to grow every year. We continue to be inspired by all the great work that is being done to help improve the lives of deaf and deafblind people across the UK. We look forward to seeing all the incredible success stories and encourage as many people as possible to nominate those who deserve recognition for their efforts.”

As well as being the leading awarding body for nationally recognised qualifications in deaf communications, Signature acts as a lobbying body, campaigning for changes in public policy and raising awareness of the communication issues faced by deaf and deafblind people.

Jim continued: “There are more than 10 million people in the UK who are deaf or have a hearing loss; however the number of people actively learning how to communicate with them doesn’t reflect this number.

“It is Signature’s vision to create a fully open and accessible society for all deaf and deafblind people.”

This year, Signature is working with Remark media the makers of CBeebies Magic Hands, a TV show which broke new ground when launching in spring last year. The show features modern and classic children’s poetry translated entirely into British Sign Language (BSL) – a first for British television.

Magic Hands was created by Remark Media, a company that is owned, staffed and run by deaf people. The show is a fun and educational mix of BSL, the spoken word, music and vibrant animation to bring the poems to life and capture the imaginations of both deaf and hearing children.

Magic Hands lead presenter, Ashley Kendall
, 20, will be a member of the judging panel responsible for selecting the Young Learner of the Year.

Chester-born Ashley said: “I am honoured to be a part of the 2014 Signature Annual Awards and can’t wait to read about all the amazing experiences of the young learners.

“I joined the team at Magic Hands because I want everyone across the UK to recognise BSL and I wanted to be part of a television show that both deaf and hearing children can have full access to.

“It’s fantastic that Signature also believes in creating a fully accessible society for deaf people and is encouraging children to learn BSL from a young age.”

Jim responded: “It’s great to have Magic Hands on board for the 2014 Signature Annual Awards. Ashley is an excellent role model for young children and his incredible charisma and energy will make a strong addition to this year’s Young Learner of the Year judging panel.”

Further information about the 2014 Signature Annual Awards can be found at: /

Article by Sarah Lawrence

posted in Community / News

12th February 2014