Western Power Distribution, the electricity distribution network operator based in Cwmbran, has been rewarded for being accessible to deaf people.

The organisation was awarded at Action on Hearing Loss Cymru’s Excellence Wales Awards for its work in ensuring that frontline staff receive deaf-awareness training, that deaf staff are supported in the workplace and that customers with hearing loss can use text message or British Sign Language interpreters to contact the company.

Western Power Distribution walked away with the Service Excellence Award, decided by an independent panel of people who are deaf or have hearing loss.

The charity’s annual awards recognise businesses that take steps to make their services accessible to the 575,500 people in Wales who are deaf or have hearing loss.

Karen Welch, of Western Power Distribution, said: “Being accessible to deaf people is very important, and this is especially true during a power cut or emergency. We know that our efforts have made a positive difference to both staff and customers so we’re delighted to have won this award.

“We recognise the importance of ensuring that deaf and hard of hearing people are able to communicate with us and we’re looking to continuing to improve our service in the years to come.”

Four other awards were also decided by the independent panel with the People’s Choice Award chosen by a public vote.

Rebecca Woolley, director of Action on Hearing Loss Cymru, said: “The judging panel had the difficult job of deciding the winners from an impressive shortlist, but I think they have done a fantastic job. All our winners prove that simple changes can make the lives of people with hearing loss more manageable on a day-to-day basis.

“I hope that organisations across Wales are inspired by our winners and start thinking about the simple changes they can make to ensure their services are accessible to the one-in-six people who are deaf or have hearing loss.”

The Excellence Awards were established by Action on Hearing Loss Cymru in 2015 to recognise businesses and organisations that take steps to support the one in six people in Wales who have varying degrees of hearing loss.

The awards were held at Cardiff’s St David’s Hotel and presented by ITV Wales News reporter Megan Boot.