Supporting deaf people in East Durham
Durham Deafened Support helps and supports people who
have hearing loss who find that a hearing aid is not enough.
I recently visited the Durham Deafened support group in Horden and held a question and answer session where the members, who live throughout East Durham, raised some specific concerns about how we are falling short on supporting deaf people. I was really interested to see the new technology and specific devices that are available free on loan from the group to people who struggle with daily activities at home, this allows sufferers to test out products before buying them to see what works for them. My late father suffered from tinnitus and industrial deafness from working in the coal mines, he struggled to hear the television and the devices now available would have been very helpful.
The DDS provide information, support and advocacy to enable deaf people to cope with their disability and to understand and meet their communication needs.
DDS has valuable experience in seeking out and bringing together people who have become socially excluded and isolated because of their hearing loss. Through communication techniques, advice and support their reintegration programmed “Life After Deaf” has shown that early intervention reduces the incidence of mental health problems and has enabled late deafened adults to have a better quality of life and gain equal access to services.
Services they provide include:
- Lip-reading/support groups, 10 throughout County Durham, kept small to enable members to get the maximum amount of benefit from the Support they receive.
- 1:1 and family support / home visits. Understanding and making changes to cope with hearing loss
- Dealing with Deafness rehabilitation weeks (brief synopsis below)
- Resource centres in Peterlee and Keller Court, both are BT Try Before You Buy centres. We also have products from Sarabec and Action on Hearing Loss to try.
- 1:1 and group support for people with Tinnitus (noises in the ears and head)
- CI Friendship group. These are informal meetings for people considering having or who have had a Cochlea Implant.
- Sign post to welfare rights /access to work
- One off events such as visits by the Bionic Ear – please keep a look out for specific events
Other projects are: Tai Chi, Yoga, Crafts, Reflexology, Walking Groups, Young Man’s Group and basic communication via IT
Dealing with Deafness (DWD) Rehabilitation week
Dealing with Deafness is a five day non-residential rehabilitation week, aimed at helping people with hearing loss and their families to deal with the traumatic effect that hearing loss can have.
The course covers topics that will help deafened people and their partners, families or close friends to understand more about deafness and how to deal with the anger, anxiety, fear and frustration associated with acquired hearing loss. Topics covered include
- Communication skills/ awareness
- Cochlear Impant – a users perspective
- Tinnitus/ balance problems
- Welfare Rights
- Keep safe – Police and Fire Brigade
- Hearing dogs for deaf people
All our groups are free to attend but they ask all participants to become members of DDS and pay a donation of £5 each year membership fee.
If you are interested in coming along or know someone who could benefit please contact the DDS in the first instance on 0191 5183358 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.