Deaf Awareness Week

Promoting inclusion and accessibility in the safeguarding adults process

3rd-9th May 2021 marks Deaf Awareness Week where people and organisations come together to celebrate Deafness, raise awareness of best practice and use the week for demonstrating change and positivity.

Some of the key aims of the week include promoting access to services and ensuring people have accessible information. We know how important it is that people who are Deaf or who have hearing loss have information about safeguarding adults in a format that is accessible to them. We have a short BSL film which explains what safeguarding adults is, how to report a concern and what happens after a concern is reported.

Reporting a concern

We know people communicate in different ways. If you have a concern about abuse or neglect, you can report it to us in a number of different ways:

  • SMS Text Message
  • Textphone
  • Online referral form
  • In writing
  • In person
  • Telephone

Please visit our report a concern webpage to find out more.

In an emergency

If you cannot make voice calls, you can now contact the 999 emergency services by SMS Text from your mobile phone. The service has been specifically designed for people with hearing loss or difficulty with speech.

You will only be able to use the service if you have registered with emergencySMS first. Register now, don’t wait for an emergency.

To register, text ‘register’ to 999. You will get a reply – then follow the instructions you are sent.

Then, in an emergency:

  • Text 999

And provide the following information

  • Who? Police, Ambulance, Fire and Rescue or Coastguard
  • What? Briefly, what is the problem.
  • Where? Exactly where the problem is happening – give the name of the road, house number, postcode or nearby landmark if possible.

The emergency service will either ask for more information or will tell you that help is on the way. Don’t assume that your message has been received until the emergency service sends a message back. It will usually take about two minutes before you get a reply. If you don’t get a reply within three minutes, please try again or find other ways of getting help.

Find out more by visiting the emergencySMS website.

Support within the safeguarding adults process

We will ensure people who are Deaf are supported to be involved in the safeguarding adults process. We take a person-centred approach to supporting people and will find out from the person how they would like to be supported. This might involve an interpreter, an advocate and/or a family member.

If you are supporting someone who is Deaf in the safeguarding adults process, follow these useful tips from the UK Council on Deafness to help with communication:

  • Face the person while you are speaking, don’t turn away
  • Repeat yourself if necessary
  • Never say ‘It doesn’t matter’
  • If the person doesn’t understand you don’t give up!
  • Write it down or draw a picture
  • Speak one at a time, don’t talk over each other
  • Keep your mouth visible
  • Smile and relax
  • Don’t speak too quickly or too slowly