Salford Deaf Advocacy and Support Service has new space in the Langworthy Cornerstone to welcome people with all forms of deafness.
Danielle Sharps is the project manager at Salford Deaf Advocacy and Support Service (SDASS). She said: “The whole aim of the project is to make it comfortable, make it easy, make it possible for their thoughts, opinions and feedback to be communicated”.
She added that they were there “to implement change”.
Langworthy Cornerstone can be visited through free and confidential appointments. It offers advice, personal sessions, activities, letter translations, home visits among other services.
Salford Deaf Advocacy and Support Service supports local residents that are ‘deaf, hard of hearing and deaf-blind people’.
It also aims to improve access to social and health care, and works to reduce inequalities by “supporting and promoting self-advocacy”, said Danielle.
[The project] “Is a new way to try and improve health and wellbeing for the deaf and hard of hearing residents of Salford.
“The project is funded by Salford CCG who have been incredibly supportive.”
SDASS also provides training to frontline health care professionals to improve deaf people’s experiences during consultations.
She added: “In an ideal world, access for deaf and hard of hearing people to health care services will be the same you or I have. Whereas it’s not quite there yet.”
Copyright and produced by: Natacha Pires @ Salford Now
Danielle said: “We’ve got the experts Kirsty and Jephta they’re working with us to produce these videos that always have information that is relevant to Salford.”
Copyright: Salford Signed
She said: “We’ve had some great feedback”, and added “videos are going out each week with different topics related to health care”.
Bartender Ben Oldham, 22, is a Salford student that has a partial hearing loss. He shared some of his experiences.
Ben said: “I’ve learned to get on with it as it’s something that I’ve been living with since high school, but it does cause a lot of inconveniences when meeting new people as it’s not visible to anyone.”
Regarding health care he found difficulties in continuing a treatment he was doing pre-pandemic to improve his hearing. He said: “Since COVID, I have not been able to access [it], with them now stopping this procedure altogether. I found this very frustrating”.
After continuous chasing of his GP, Ben has been referred to a hospital. He said: “I’ve now been placed on a 20-week waiting list before I can even get an appointment”.
Although he hasn’t used the services of SDASS, he finds it useful that this project exists to assist people living with deafness.
Danielle explained that a few people using SDASS have found new difficulties due to COVID-19.
She said: “Some services are saying that they can’t [take] sign language interpreters because it’s an additional person in the room.
“They are trying to push the use of online interpreting, which is a fantastic service and definitely has a place in health care.
“But for example, would you want to go to an oncologist and be told that you possibly have cancer on the computer or would you rather have the service face to face?”