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‘Cater for deaf people’s needs,’ councils told

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Charity Action On Hearing Loss has called for English Local Authorities to cater for the needs that hard of hearing or deaf people have.

It comes after recent research suggested that just one in four English councils that took part had a dedicated hearing loss strategy and just one in three were taking hearing loss into account when they assessed the requirement ‘for social care services’.

The research appears in a report called ‘Life Support: the provision of social care for people with hearing loss’ and used information provided by 60 people in charge of adult sensory services.

Action On Hearing Loss says the report showed that people who have hearing loss might not be getting crucial support as a result of the fact that their needs aren’t accounted for in authorities’ JSNAs or Joint Strategic Needs Assessments.

It wants Authorities to ‘capture local requirements’ when it comes to things that can help those affected by hearing loss like British Sign Language training.

Other examples would be advice on living independently and lipreading classes.

Such things can help to bring up people’s confidence and make them less isolated, the charity says.

Those who have hearing loss should be able to expect optimum local services, said Paul Breckell, Action on Hearing Loss chief executive.

“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,” he added.

“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.”

It follows the charity calling on stations and transport companies to be sure they give visual information to passengers, to help those who have hearing loss or are deaf.

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