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‘Deaf Awareness Week’ Category

12 MayDeaf Awareness Week

Deaf Awareness Week 2019 EMAIL SIG POLITICS

Our last day of Deaf Awareness Week and DEX are supporting politics #DAWrolemodels2019

DEX is a  deaf user-led organisation which believes is the only deaf led organisation that supports all deaf children with all levels of deafness and fully understands the needs of deaf children in mainstream schools. This is because of our personal experiences and our research studies as we are aware of the impact that mainstreaming has on deaf children’s education and the rest of deaf childrens’ lives.

DEX’s fundamental aim is to campaign for a national sign bilingual framework to  ensure that all deaf children, regardless of level of hearing loss, have access to their school curriculum in resourced mainstream schools or Deaf schools. This should include bilingualism in English / British Sign Language, or multilingualism i.e. Welsh, Urdu, and English and BSL; access to a deaf peer group in significant numbers and never to be placed without deaf peers in mainstream school. This will enable each deaf child to feel part of their school culture, as well as giving them the opportunity to develop a positive deaf identity.

DEX has conducted its own Best Value Review audit and feasibility study, in addition to mapping and service delivery. We have involved deaf children, parents and a wide range of service providers in government organisations, i.e. DfE, Ofsted, councils and have also read extensively for our literature reviews, and visited other countries to compare (as required in Best Value Reviews). We also work with deaf young people to run their own affairs and develop their deaf identities – the DEX Deaf Youth Council. This includes a wide range of opportunities to learn and socialise, and we are establishing more groups in other areas.

Because of this, we know that deaf children in education do not receive adequate specialist support to enable them to progress on the same level as hearing children, and that they can be socially excluded. We know existing UK law is not meeting the needs of most deaf children by not providing, for example, freedom of association and expression, well-being, a happy and safe childhood and access to a fluent language.

There is much research into the benefits for bilinguals regardless of the languages they use. DEX has looked at some of this research as part of its own research studies. We know bilinguals are freer from the limits of one single language; a good knowledge of two languages and cultures; have more empathy as are better communicators; are problem solvers and flexible thinkers; can learn more languages more easily and finally, have better employment and social opportunities. This is compelling evidence to show that there is absolutely no reason why deaf children should not be bilingual. Furthermore, DEX’s recent research into threatened languages (2014) has shown that the numbers of deaf children learning BSL is falling and thus our language is severely endangered. Legislation to urgently required to implement change for deaf children and young people and to save BSL and the deaf community.

11 MayDeaf Awareness Week


Today Signlive are supporting Deaf Awareness Week.

SignLive is a first-class provider of online BSL interpreting. Our fantastic on demand system allows you to communicate with anyone, at any time, from your own device, by using our app which connects you to a qualified British Sign Language Interpreter. The app is easy to use and our Community Directory allows you to contact listed businesses and organisations FREE of charge once you have registered.

SignLive is available 24/7 with no pre-booking required.

Download the app from the app store or Google Play and get started today! Visit for more information .





11 MayDeaf Awareness Week


SignVideo Celebrates Deaf Awareness Week Launching The UK’s First BSL Business Directory!

SignVideo has launched the UK’s first Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) Business Directory on their app in time for Deaf Awareness Week 2019, with a key difference.

The directory offers Deaf BSL entrepreneurs – free of charge – the opportunity to attract more Deaf BSL customers to their services through a simple click.

Deaf entrepreneurs and tradespeople are now able to list their business on the Signvideo app for free, allowing Deaf people to click-to-call them directly, in BSL, using the SignVideo service.

Business owners do not have to register or hold a paid SignVideo account. All calls are free of charge and their Deaf BSL customers also do not need a SignVideo account to use the service.

The new BSL Business Directory aims to promote and build a new mindset that focuses on the development of a BSL “Ecosystem” concept within the Deaf BSL community.

Jeff McWhinney, Founder and Chairman of SignVideo said:

“We at SignVideo passionately believe in the empowerment of Deaf BSL community. With this in mind, I am proud to announce that SignVideo has enhanced further our app to start the ball rolling on the Deaf BSL ecosystem space by launching a free Business Directory connecting Deaf people who use BSL and those who have their own businesses or run a trade service. If you are looking for a painter, a graphic designer, a gardener, a photographer or a builder, for example, you can just search the SignVideo BSL Business Directory on our app and click to call them!”

Deaf tradespeople and/or business owners wishing to register their business on the SignVideo app BSL Business Directory are welcome to add themselves by registering here or visiting

Download the SignVideo app by searching “SignVideo” on the Apple or Play app store or from here.

10 MayDeaf Awareness Week Role Models


Today SignHealth celebrates their role model, Sarah Powell

Dr Sarah Powell Photo

Sarah’s Story

My name is Sarah Powell and I am a clinical psychologist.  Since I was a teenager, I have always been interested in mental health and the impact it has on people.  However, in ‘them days’ there was no deaf clinical psychologist.  This did not stop me, and I focused on gaining qualification and employment linking to mental health such as working in a residential school for deaf children with complex needs and challenging behaviour, working as an information worker in a disability organisation and working as a mental health support worker in a secure hospital for deaf people.  When I found out that deaf people were on the clinical psychologist course, I then worked as an assistant psychologist which helped me to get onto the course. I qualified from University of Liverpool in 2011 with a huge smile (a very proud moment for me and remains since)!

Working for SignHealth in Primary care for mental health – there is no typical working day, each day is so different!  For example, one day I could be focusing on therapy to various clients to help with their mental health.  I do this either travelling to their GP surgery (and avoiding traffic along the route!) or I can do this online which means client can do this at the comfort of their home.  Sometimes therapy is rewarding because you can see the positive change in their lives, in how their distress have been reduced and been able to make positive changes.  Sometimes the sessions are difficult as they process difficult and painful memories, but the clients know it is important to do to enable positive changes.  Another day could be focusing on supervision – I offer supervision to other therapists or staff to ensure they are supported, to discuss clinical work and improving their skills.  There is also the usual administrative work – letters to the GP or CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group who usually fund for psychological therapy) explaining why deaf people needs therapy in their native language and without BSL interpreters rather than referring them to mainstream service.  This is because many deaf people struggled within mainstream service and have either dropped out of therapy, not benefitted from it or even made their symptoms worse.  Read more of this article

10 MayDeaf Direct are supporting Deaf Awareness Week

DD large logo

Today Deaf Direct are supporting role models in Family/Youth during Deaf Awareness Week.

Summer Camp 2016

Deaf Direct is a local charitable company that has worked with and for deaf and hard of hearing people since 1927. We provide a wide range of services to deaf and hard of hearing people, family members and carers, and professionals and other organisations in Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Worcestershire and surrounding areas.

As a deaf-led registered charitable company we are independent of the statutory sector and able to fully advocate for local needs. All our activities are undertaken to further our charitable purposes for the public benefit.

Deaf Direct services include: communication interpreting, community outreach, information & advice, youth & families as well as running three centres in Oxford, Worcester and Hereford.


We have this excellent support for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Children and their families through activities and residential breaks to ensure that their deafness is not a barrier to their family life and at the same time allow for a child peer support and group identity.