Today marks 10 years since Tayside Deaf Association merged with Deaf Action. As two of Scotland’s oldest deaf charities, our combined experience and knowledge allowed us to increase and improve services for deaf people in Dundee and Tayside.
Philip Gerrard, CEO of Deaf Action said:
“Deaf Action and Tayside Deaf Association’s merger has meant that for the past 10 years, deaf people in the area have had access to essential services. We’re delighted to be growing these services, and look forward to increasing our events and support groups when it is safe to do so.”
Since 2011, we’ve provided over 20,000 hours of support to deaf people in Dundee and Tayside. To mark the occasion, we’re looking back at some of our highlights over the past 10 years.
University of Dundee partnership
Teaching BSL and deaf awareness to over 100 trainee doctors
We’ve been working in partnership with the University of Dundee to deliver a Sign Language & Deaf Awareness self-selected component (SSC) for second and third year medical students. This has become one of the University’s flagship SSCs, and even winning a FAME award in March 2019.
In the last 8 years, we’ve taught 112 trainee doctors BSL and deaf awareness. In the last few years, this has contributed to their SQA qualifications.
This invaluable skill means new doctors are going into hospitals and medical settings with a good understanding of how to communicate with deaf patients and understand their needs.
Helping hard of hearing people find a new way to communicate
Our lipreading course is Dundee gives deaf and hard of hearing people the opportunity to gain confidence and develop their communication skills. Lipreading classes give people the tools to cope with hearing loss, helping improve communication, reduce isolation and improve mental wellbeing.
94% of people who attended our lipreading classes said they felt that their new skills improved their communication.
Maurice, a lipreading class participant said:
“After learning the basics of lipreading I’ve also understood how much I actually do rely on doing this… I think also because this type of disability is mostly unseen, actually physically attending these classes has helped my wider family understand a bit more about being deaf and the struggles we all face.”
Classes have been on hold during the pandemic, but we’re looking forward to restarting these soon. You can find out more about our lipreading classes here.
Reducing isolation by connecting deaf people
Our befriending project, Sound Sense, was ran by Tayside Deaf Association before being taken over by Deaf Action. Since the project began, we’ve connected over 500 clients and volunteer befrienders. The aim of the project is to connect deaf people with befriending volunteers to combat isolation.
We’re excited to grow Deaf Action’s services in Dundee and Tayside over the next few years, with even more deaf and hard of hearing people having access to services, clubs and events. Our aim is to help deaf people live the life they want. We are delighted to have been appointed to Dundee City Council’s Flexible Framework For Education and Social Support Services. We look forward to connecting with local schools and families, offering improved access for young deaf people in Dundee to our fantastic youth service.
To find out more about our services in Dundee and Tayside, click here.