News

Opportunity to get involved

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Hear to Help – Help to Hear

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Launch of a new Online Shop for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people in the South West of the UK.

The Centre for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People (CfD) is excited to announce that they have joined with a long-term supplier, Sarabec, to create a CfD Shop online to provide assistive technology for people with hearing loss throughout the South West. 

David Melling, Director of CfD, said “During lockdown and working from home, I have become even more aware of the isolation that Deaf and Hard of Hearing people can experience. Door alerts and amplified phones are much needed items to ensure contact with the outside world as hearing loss is well known to cause loneliness and isolation. Working with Sarabec, whom we have source supplies of equipment for over 30 years, we came to create the CfD Shop! Our aim is to bring more awareness of this equipment to those who need it and ensure Deaf and Hard of Hearing people are not left isolated in this crisis.

While we have created this shop, we are still continuing to provide an equipment service for the residents of Bristol, funded by Bristol City Council. We will continue to provide free assessments and installation of equipment. The CfD Shop allows CfD to take its brand further into the UK to explore new avenues and therefore continuing to provide awareness and support for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People”.

Colin Foxton, MD of Sarabec said “The proposal to work with CfD on an online shop could not have come at a better time as we have been exploring this venture for some time. It was certainly a challenge during lockdown creating a new venture but CfD worked hard creating the outline of the shop. Their passion for supporting Deaf and Hard of Hearing people are second to none. The relationship between Sarabec and CfD has always been good and so we are very excited to continue this and explore new avenues together”.

To find out more about the online shop and how the CfD and Sarabec Shop team can help, please contact us in one of the following ways:

Website: www.cfdshop.org.uk
Phone: 01642 247789
Text (minicom): 01642 251310
Email: mail@cfdshop.org.uk 

Projects

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Centre for Deaf are working alongside Gloucestershire Deaf Association to support Deaf and Hard of Hearing people who are having difficulties working or have been furloughed. The focus of this project is on creating peer support for Deaf and Hard of Hearing participants creating solutions to the barriers they face in returning to work or continuing to work from home. The evaluation will therefore focus on the group dynamics and on the perception of the value of the group activities by the participants.

We are aiming to identify employment issues for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people and their employers, the solutions that have emerged from the group sessions and the scope for a future project. To get involved, please email findwork@gda.org.uk if you are based in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire, Swindon or Wiltshire. If you are based in Bristol, please email: employment@centrefordeaf.org.uk.

We Are Bristol support hotline

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Bristol City Council is running a free support hotline to help isolated and worried residents across the city during the Coronavirus pandemic.

If you are staying at home for health reasons and need help with food supplies, medicine and other essential items, please contact the helpline on 0800 694 0184 for support.

Deaf BSL users can contact the phoneline through a BSL Interpreter using SignVideo. If for any reason you are unable to use the Signvideo relay service, please contact the Sensory Impairment Team via their video drop in service and they will be able to help arrange support for you.


Graphic for the We Are Bristol support line saying 'Do you need help getting food or essential items? Our volunteers can help you. Talk to us today on the free We Are Bristol support line 0800 694 0184' With an illustration of a man holding a box of food and medicines

An equipment success story

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MB, who is in his early fifties, started to lose his hearing a couple of years ago. He began working in construction at 18 and thinks that being in such a loud working environment, involved in demolition projects, may have had an impact on his hearing over the years. He explained there was less awareness about health and safety and the need for ear protection when he first started in the industry.

When he began to have a problem with his hearing, he went to his GP, who referred him to audiology. The audiologist confirmed that he was losing his hearing and that it had deteriorated very rapidly. MB was given hearing aids, which helped, but he was still finding it hard to hear the doorbell or the telephone ring. He also had trouble hearing people fully when he was in conversation with family, friends or work colleagues. He loves listening to music but couldn’t hear it unless it was on very loud and was having a similar problem watching television. He was reluctant to have the volume up too loud, as he didn’t want to disturb the rest of the family, and so was missing out on relaxing with music or watching his favourite programmes on TV.

MB’s wife then came across a leaflet about CfD’s work and he got in touch to ask about any support we could provide. We booked an appointment for our Equipment Officer Piers to visit MB at home. Piers talked to him about the difficulties he was having and explained the range of equipment that could help. Piers then went back on a second visit to install a Signolux alerting system, which rings very loudly and flashes when the phone goes or someone rings the doorbell. As MB explains “Before I couldn’t hear the doorbell or the telephone ring. Having this flashing and amplified alerter means I don’t have to rely on the family to let me know when there’s someone at the door or when the phone goes, so I feel independent again.”

Photo of equipment officer Piers demonstrating some phone equipment to a client at home

Piers also provided a personal listener, which is a piece of equipment which amplifies sound and works particularly well with hearing aids on a loop setting. MB has been able to use this when talking to people and he now says “Before when I was listening to them it was as if they were far away but now with the equipment it’s like they’re close to me again and it’s especially nice to be able to hear my family and my young daughter properly.”

Another benefit of the personal listener is that MB is able to plug it into his phone, which he uses to listen to music. He can now listen to the music through the headset on the listener and can enjoy his favourite tracks without disturbing anyone.

Piers also installed a TV listener, which is a piece of equipment which allows MB to listen to the television through an individual receiver. He can control the volume on the receiver and can have it as loud as he needs as only he can hear it. The TV listener doesn’t interfere with the normal sound on the television so that the rest of the family can also watch television at the same time at a regular volume. MB is delighted with this piece of equipment and says “I can relax and watch television now without disturbing the family. I get peace and they get peace so everyone is happy!”

To find out more about our Equipment Service and the support we can provide, please see the Equipment page of our website or contact us in one of the following ways:

Phone: 0345 9007830
SMS text/WhatsApp: 07545 264840
Email: equipment@centrefordeaf.org.uk

Please note that we are not currently making home visits due to the Coronavirus but we are running our service remotely. This means we can still make assessments for equipment over the phone or by email or video call and we can then deliver any items to your doorstep.

Our equipment team is still on the road

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Please click here to see this information in BSL.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, we are working from home but we are pleased to say that our Equipment Service is still running.

Our equipment team are available throughout the week and can still provide advice and support with listening aid equipment such as amplified and flashing doorbells, amplified telephones and TV listeners.

If you would like to discuss equipment or arrange an assessment, please contact us in one of the following ways:

Phone: 0345 9007830
SMS text/WhatsApp: 07545 264840
Email: equipment@centrefordeaf.org.uk
Skype: bristol.deaf.equipment

When we receive your enquiry, one of our Equipment Officers will contact you to make an assessment and discuss your needs.
If you want to communicate with our Equipment Officers in BSL, contact us to arrange an appointment time and one of our Officers can do a video call with you on WhatsApp, Skype or Zoom.

If you need new or replacement equipment, our Equipment Officer Steve will arrange to deliver it to your door in a safe and socially distanced way. The equipment will already be set up and working and all you will have to do is plug it in.

We are always here by phone, text, email or video call for any follow up support and please do contact us if there is anything you need.

If you know people who would benefit from our service and would like to share information with them, please click here to download a PDF of our Equipment Service leaflet.

Deaf Awareness Week

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This year Deaf Awareness Week is the week of 4th to 10th May. We are celebrating by offering two online information sessions to help raise awareness about all aspects of Deafness.

Free one hour Deaf Equality Training session

12 to 1pm Wednesday 6th May
In this session our CEO David Melling will run one of his popular Deaf Equality Training sessions online via Zoom. He will share information about different types of hearing loss, communication tips and best practice.
If you would like to sign up, please email David.
Places will be offered on a first come, first served basis, so do please get in touch soon if you’re interested.

Live Q and A session with our CEO

12 to 1pm Thursday 7th May
In this session our CEO David who will answer your questions on everything related to access and equality for Deaf and Hard of Hearing people.
Please email your questions to David and he will answer them during a live session on Zoom, which will also be recorded. Please click here to join the session on Zoom.


Join us for an online coffee morning!

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We are missing the CfD coffee mornings so we thought we would try to get together by Zoom for a coffee morning and chat online.  You have to bring your own coffee and cake!

When? Every Tuesday morning at 11.00am.

You will need to have access to a smart phone, tablet, laptop or computer to join in. We will use an application called Zoom which is similar to Skype and lets us see each other as a group. If you have not downloaded Zoom before, then click here to download it and join the meeting.

There is a useful BSL video with information about how to use Zoom on Youtube – please click here to watch it.

If you have any problems connecting to Zoom or joining the meeting, please email David at office@centrefordeaf.org.uk

Hope to see as many of you as possible.

Update on changes to CfD services due to the Coronavirus

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BSL video with update on changes to CfD services in response to the Coronavirus

Our biggest responsibility is to protect the health and safety of our community – both clients and staff.  In order to reduce exposure to the Coronavirus we have made some changes to CfD services. We have adapted our way of working so that we can work effectively from home. We will continue to do this for the foreseeable future as the best way of keeping everyone safe.

The CfD office and equipment resource room are closed to the public

Our office and equipment resource room will remain closed for the time being but we are all now working from home and we are still here for you. We can be contacted by phone, SMS text message, video call or email if needed – full details are on the Contact page of our website.

Our equipment team are offering assessments and advice remotely

Due to the need for social distancing we are not able to make home visits at the moment. However, our equipment officers are still available to offer support and now offer assessments and advice remotely. This means they can talk about any equipment needs via phone and email or via video call on Skype or Zoom.

If you would like an assessment or need to discuss any problems with your equipment such as your phone, doorbell or TV listener, please contact us and we will arrange a remote appointment with one of our officers.

We are holding a weekly coffee morning online

We now meet for an online coffee morning every week via the video platform Zoom. This is from 10.30am every Tuesday morning and please click here for further information about the meeting and how to join us on Zoom. Hoping to see many of you there!

CfD AGM postponed

With advice from the Charity Commission and the Government we have made the decision to postpose our AGM from April until September/October. Our accounts are now live and you can view them on the Charity Commission website.

Useful resources

We’ve put together this list of links to useful sources of information and support related to Coronavirus for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.

We will keep in touch with any updates to CfD services, Local Authority support or advice on keeping safe. Please keep an eye on our website as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages for further information.

Stay safe and if you have any questions please contact us by phone on 0117 9398653, by SMS text or Facetime on 07749 313085 or by email.

David Melling
Director
Centre for Deaf and Hard of Hearing People

Where Is the Interpreter campaign

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We are supporting a campaign to ask the Prime Minister for equal access to communications regarding the Coronavirus.

The campaign was originally started by Lynn Stewart-Taylor on her Twitter handle @jerseysnail. She launched the #WhereIsTheInterpreter hashtag on social media asking the Prime Minister’s office to provide a BSL English Interpreter live at televised national addresses during the COVID-19 crisis. You can find an excellent interview with Lynn Stewart-Taylor about why she started the campaign on the Hear Me Out website.

There are more than 80,000 Deaf people in the UK for whom British Sign Language (BSL) is their first language, before English. It is essential that they have information in BSL so that they know what is going on at this time of national crisis and understand the actions everyone is being asked to take to stay safe.

Many Deaf organisations have taken up the cause and this has developed into a legal challenge to the government on behalf of AK, an 85-year Deaf BSL user. The legal team, Fry Law, are launching a Judicial Review application and there is now a Crowd Justice appeal to fund this vital legal work.

Please see this Crowd Justice page for full information about the fundraising appeal and how to donate. Please share with friends and family and support this campaign to remind the Government that everyone matters. One of the people that contributed to the case said “BSL is our first language. Please give us access to information, support us, protect us. We matter too.”