The Salford Deaf Advocacy and Support Service have held meetings to help the deaf community in Salford.

Everyone two months, they host a User Forums Meeting where the deaf community come together to discuss experiences, they have had with health sectors, and feed back to the CCG.

This project started in March 2020 and allows the deaf community to gather in an informal setting.

Salford’s CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group), will make necessary improvements for the deaf community within the NHS, pharmacies, GP appointments, etc.

Toni Hanlon, an advocate at Salford Deaf Advocacy, said: “The main focus at Salford Deaf Advocacy Service is promoting deaf awareness in Salford and increasing that and improving accessibility for a deaf person. Making sure that a deaf person has the same access to a dentist or a doctor, service as a hearing person would.”

“The user forums, people will come and see us, talk about their experiences, we will take that feedback then we will report it to the CCG. We had a deaf lady talking about interpreters, she wanted a female interpreter rather than a male for the sort of appointment that it was. So, we have fed that back to the CCG and I think they are now looking at their interpreter booking system.”

The next meeting will be held at Langworthy Cornerstone Community Centre on Thursday 16th December at 11am.

Deborah O’Reilly-Keefe, another advocate at Salford Deaf Advocacy, said: “It’s about improving their systems. It’s important to create an awareness that hasn’t been there before. It’s about planting that seed and almost watching it form really.”

Salford Deaf Advocacy and Support Service also offers Salford residents who are deaf, hard of hearing and the elderly, with free and confidential advice and support, 1-2-1 appointments and home visits.

“It gives people an anonymous voice too. It’s all about creating awareness to show this is happening and how we can work around it” said O’Reilly-Keefe.

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