Sign – Support, Guidance and Training Charity

Sign Charity are a group who support families dealing with blindness with outreach and training activities for deaf people in need of any support. For more information, please contact lovemarie@signcharity.

Sign’s Vision: We aim for a world where there is little risk of deaf people developing preventable mental health problems and that equality, respect and fulfillment are enjoyed by deaf people experiencing mental health difficulties we support the National Deaf Children’s Society. Sign’s mission is to promote Deaf Wellness and independent lives. Getting help: Many receiving ‘helpDeaf’ people’s physical and mental well being depends on good access to primary care services of which there are many types. This could be a General Practitioner, social worker or accident and emergency unit at the local hospital.

Deaf people often find it difficult to access primary care services because they have communication needs that are not always supported by the health care staff working at primary care level. They are frequently mis-diagnosed, often labelled as having learning difficulties. Many tell us they have been assessed by people with whom they are unable to communicate. There is obviously a need for different types of communication support so that they can get access to good standards of primary care. At present there are merely 3 psychiatric units for deaf people in the UK and only one Consultant Psychiatrist specialising in deaf children. Sign is dedicated to changing this by working with the Department of Health to ensure these needs are addressed.

We advocate using better technology to communicate with health care staff, to British Sign Language or Sign Supported English interpreters, lip speaking services etc. At times, Deaf people need advocacy support to understand their rights as a patient, to understand how health care systems work, or to understand what medical or emotional problems they may have. There are also other deaf organisations that can assist deaf people in obtaining better standards of health care. Deaf people who are suffering from mental health problems need to get their GP or social workers to refer them for a mental health assessment. There are several units in the UK where specialise deaf mental health services are carried out by the British Deaf and Blind Association.

A number of organisations provide deaf people with supported living. This is where they reside with a team of qualified staff who carry out recreational, social and educational activities to help them become more independent. Deaf people with mental health problems do not always have to live with the support of specialist staff. They can be visited by outreach workers. Such a preventive service enables people to remain in their home environments while having the support of a professional mental health worker.

Update: Sign is delighted to have been chosen as London Wasps’ Supporters’ Club Chosen Charity. Many thanks to those who voted!

Cafe Culture:
Café Culture is a new fundraising initiative aimed at bringing people together to socialise and at the same time raise money for our cause.

The idea is simple; you invite a gathering of friends, family or colleagues round for something as straightforward as a coffee or as elaborate as an evening Dinner Party. The choice is yours.

Each person that attends makes a suggested minimum donation of £3 ( for coffee ) and £5 for Dinner.

You and your friends, family or colleagues get to enjoy each others company and Sign gets to raise funds to provide vital services for Deaf Children and their families.

For more information contact sbridgeworth@signcharity.org.uk

Update 2:
Thank you to the 22 ladies who ran, walked, hopped and skipped around Hyde Park. Nearly £3,000 has been raised so far!