British Sign Language is a completely different language to English. It uses a different structure and relies on hand shapes and facial expressions. Someone who is fluent in BSL may not be fluent in English, therefore may struggle to read and write, or communicate with hearing people.
This means some Deaf people do not have a full understanding of bills, letters and formal documents. Meetings with professionals can feel completely overwhelming. Being part of the community can feel very scary, meaning some Deaf people can quickly become isolated, causing their mental health to rapidly decline.
London Outreach support and encourage Deaf people, through BSL, to get back into the community, without relying on medication or medical involvement.
During Deaf Awareness Week 2015, we are focused on raising awareness of all of our projects, including Outreach from SignHealth.
If you didn’t know the barriers Deaf people experience, please share this post. The more people that see it, the more likely we are to keep our life saving service going.
Please watch Tina, the Team Leader of London Outreach, explain more about her work.