To mark Deaf Awareness Week, Transport for London (TfL) will hold two Art on the Underground tours on 13 June, exclusively to hearing impaired customers.
The tours, co-led by Art on the Underground and a British Sign Language interpreter, will showcase some of the most well-known artworks in Tube stations across London. The tours will also provide an opportunity to learn about the services TfL provides for hearing impaired customers, including travel mentors, who will be on hand to answer questions.
The first tour will start at award-winning British artist Heather Phillipson’s ambitious 80 metre long installation at Gloucester Road, leading through to John Maine’s Portland stone commission at Green Park station. It will finish at Piccadilly Circus station with Langlands & Bell’s “Beauty < Immortality” – a homage to visionary former London Transport Chief Executive Frank Pick, whose legacy of iconic designs has had a profound influence on the appearance of London Underground.
From there the second tour will begin, continuing to Tottenham Court Road station where Daniel Buren’s bold and colourful ‘Diamonds and Circles’ works ‘in situ’and Sir Eduardo Paolozzi’s famous mosaics will be studied in detail.
There are 15 places on each tour and spaces will be assigned on a first come first served basis. E-mail TfLAccessibility@tfl.gov.uk now to book your place and avoid disappointment.
TfL Image – Daniel Buren, Diamonds and Circles 2
Travel mentoring is a free service that TfL provides to help people with accessibility needs start using public transport. The service offers advice on planning a journey, using an accessible route and can provide a mentor for customers’ first few journeys to help them gain confidence and become independent travellers. It can also provide assistance to people who wish to use mobility scooters and other mobility aids on London’s bus services.
Bob Nolan, Chairman of Deafblind UK, said: “The everyday challenges of life can be more of a struggle after experiencing hearing loss and some people may find it very isolating. However, it is a loss of confidence that can cut us off from the whole world and can actually be the biggest disability of all. This Deaf Awareness week, we want to help people understand that while hearing loss can be isolating for many, it doesn’t have to be. With the right support, people living with hearing loss can lead full and active lives and still fulfil their dreams. This week, there is some great help on offer to help people build their confidence to a point where they’re happy to travel independently on public transport, and embrace the idea that life is still an adventure.”
Asif Iqbal MBE, President of Harrow and Brent United Deaf Club, said: “It is a fantastic opportunity to work with Transport for London to promote Deaf Awareness week by encouraging deaf and hard of hearing customers to join us on tours of the artwork in London Underground. It will be an exciting tour. Thank you to Transport for London for providing a BSL interpreter to make sure deaf customers are included.”
Mark Evers, Transport for London’s Chief Customer Officer, said: “We are so pleased to support this tour. It’s a wonderful opportunity to showcase some of the incredible artworks on the Tube to hearing impaired customers, while at the same time providing an opportunity for them to find out more about our free travel mentoring service. Travel mentors play an incredibly important role in giving people the confidence to use public transport, as we want everyone to feel comfortable when travelling.”