Achieve together’s Deaf services are enhanced supporting living services for people with learning disabilities who are Deaf and communicate using BSL. We support a range of additional complex needs including autistic spectrum conditions and mental health needs.
Offering individualised support packages within a 24-hour staffed environment, the staff who work in these services are all BSL trained with a large proportion of them being Deaf or Hard of Hearing themselves. Some staff are Profoundly Deaf, whilst others have Cochlear implants.
The service works with people to develop their independence and achieve significant life outcomes. ‘S’ had never lived by herself and in the past she had been placed in environments that did not have the correct level of communication and with people who did not have an understanding of what challenges a deaf person might have. This limited ‘S’s’ understanding and willingness to engage in life skills. She found it difficult to make and maintain relationships with others, which resulted in boredom, behaviour challenges and low self-esteem. Through skilled engagement in BSL and effective goal setting, ‘S’ has worked through a number of college courses and holds responsibilities within and outside of the home. ‘S’ also works voluntarily in a local food bank and has a wide network of friendships.
All non-signing staff from other areas in Achieve together, that have regular interaction with Deaf staff and the people we support, receive Deaf Awareness training.