Deaf News: Survey says only a third of Local Authorities consider needs of deaf people

Posted on March 15, 2013



The Charity Action on Hearing Loss is today urging Local Authorities across England to meet the needs of people who are deaf or hard of hearing, following new research which discovered that only one third of responding councils include deafness when assessing the need for social care services. Meanwhile, only a quarter have a strategy dedicated to hearing loss.

In a report entitled ‘Life Support: the provision of social care for people with hearing loss’ the charity uses data from the responses of 60 heads of adult sensory services to reveal deaf people could be missing out on vital life-changing support because their individual needs are not taken into account in local authorities’ Joint Strategic Needs Assessments (JSNAs).

The charity is calling on Local Authorities to capture local requirements which could include lipreading classes and BSL training, specialist rehabilitation services, family and peer support, as well as advice about equipment, housing benefit and independent living, which can make a huge impact in improving communication and confidence, and reducing social isolation experienced by people with hearing loss.

Chief Executive for Action on Hearing Loss, Paul Breckell, says: “People with hearing loss have the right to expect the very best local services. JSNAs are intended to produce a comprehensive picture of the health and wellbeing needs of local communities. However, a local need can only be met it if is identified. As many are failing to capture local information about people with hearing loss it’s no surprise to find that only a quarter of councils have a strategy dedicated to improving the health, wellbeing and everyday lives of people who are deaf or hard of hearing.”

To read the report, visit www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/lifesupport

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