Deaf Focus Group
The forward thinking residents are all profoundly Deaf and use British Sign Language as their first or preferred language. The team are supported by Salix Homes and Windsor Albion Co-operative and meetings are held every month.
Frank, Marion, Paul, Ann, Susan and Christine are hoping more Deaf residents will join the group. Frank comments: "We want to make sure that all Deaf people and people with hearing loss have equal access to services. A person with this type of sensory loss has very different needs.
"We can't just make a phone call or pop into the office for a chat if we have a problem. This is why we feel it is important to be giving our time to improving housing services."
The group has been raising issues including; developing a text message contact number for deaf people, improving access to tower blocks and how to ensure all deaf customers are kept informed of important changes such as Welfare Benefit Reforms. In October James Mclean, Empowerment and Campaign Officer for the British Deaf Association came to present to the group.
The group have also put together a training session for front line staff which starts this Winter. Christine explains: "The aim of the training is to help staff to see life from a Deaf perspective. We start the training with a case study about a real problem one of us had with a water leak. Throughout the training we use British Sign Language and speech, we want staff to understand that every Deaf person is different and that we all have different needs."
Six Salix Homes staff are trained to Level 2 BSL with one officer currently completing Level 3. Staff at Windsor Albion Co-operative have also undertaken Level 1 BSL training.
If you would like to come to our next meeting or would like more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or text Joanne Slater on 07872 418 331.