Deaf worker voices concerns

    Deaf people are often seen but not heard by the social care
    sector, deaf social worker Wendy Trent told service users and
    practitioners.

    Trent, who spoke through an interpreter, said that deaf issues
    were all too often peripheral to social care planning and deaf
    people’s rights to services tended to be ignored.

    “The important thing is to look at people’s individual needs and
    give deaf people a choice,” Trent said. “If you are lucky, you will
    get a social work deaf service in your area. But that is often just
    one person, with no support and no resources. It is just
    tokenistic.”

    Trent said not enough resources were allocated to the issues
    raised by deaf people and that too much was expected of
    under-funded statutory deaf service teams. Using mental health
    services for deaf people was an example of poor provision, she
    said: “There are only three services nationally. A deaf person with
    mental health needs who lives in the South West would have to
    travel to London for services.”

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