Welcome to the July Newsletter

First, congratulations to one of our Trustees, James Watson-O’Neill who won the ‘Charity Leader of the Month – July’ award from Cause 4.  He won this for his work with SignHealth in promoting better access to information about Covid-19 and better access to health services.  See: https://www.cause4.co.uk/blog/pick-month-july-2020 A big clap for James!

Second – BSMHD has received a letter from the Black Deaf UK Facebook Group directed at the British Deaf Association (BDA) asking for greater representation of the Black community.  Signed by over 80 signatories – the BSL version is available on YouTube: https://youtu.be/tdUJhTjcDoQ.  We are sharing this to show our support for this group. If you want to see the full letter, please email info@bsmhd.org.uk.

We also received an email from Deaf & Equal stating that: “We are now advocating for a ridiculous number of D/deaf people up and down the country who are having trouble accessing medical services and getting to see their GP’s due to the COVID-19 changes.

Many GPs still trying to insist upon profoundly Deaf people having telephone appointments  (yes you just saw that right – telephone appointments for Deaf people)! “  We have put her in touch with Chris Fry, the solicitor who is working with Lynn Stewart-Taylor (Where’s the Interpreter campaign).  We have also had discussions with Chris Fry as well about our submission to the parliamentary Select Committee – Women and Equalities.  If you want to see our submission, please email us at info@bsmhd.org.uk.  Deaf & Equal can be contacted at info@deafandequal.com.

We have also had an article published in SW2020Covid-19.  This is an online article for social care workers.  We highlighted the difficulties faced by Deaf people with additional problems and we have had some favourable reactions in Twitter.  The article can be found in https://sw2020covid19.group.shef.ac.uk/ 

A word of warning! – You may have to scroll through different pages and different articles before you find this!  If you can’t find it, let us know and we will send you a PDF version.

And here is a chilling article that made me wonder about our Deaf specialist services: https://thebristolcable.org/2020/07/opinion-the-nhs-sends-too-many-mental-health-patients-to-hospital-for-expensive-ineffective-care/  Is this true of our services? Is there a case to be made for the specialist services that we have?  Is there anyone who wants to challenge this?

And here is another article about the importance of bilingualism:

How Bilingualism Contributes to Healthy Development in Deaf Children: A Public Health Perspective: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10995-020-02976-6  To read the full article you will need to either buy or rent. We have included this as we feel this may be of interest to some of our members.

Finally, we hope that you are all staying safe, even though the lockdown has eased, the numbers remain high.

Stay safe!