CEO Chat #29
One of the joys of working in such a strong, energetic, dynamic, enthusiastic and creative team is that we work to find solutions to the ‘impossible’ or ‘difficult’ situations that working in a people focused business throws at us.
One of our staff has taken extended sick leave following surgery, and rightfully so, why rush back too soon? It only causes other health issues. So, in her absence the whole staff team, including me, has taken turns to cover her shifts. I found myself opening up the Barrow Deaf Centre on a couple of days, which I really quite like because it gives me on opportunity to practice my very basic BSL and chat with the deaf community to find out what issues they are having, and what CDA could do to help.
During the coffee morning sessions CDA staff support people emotionally, assist in making contact with banks, solicitors, health appointments, resolve phone line issues etc. One lady uses type-talk to remain in contact with her relatives and the messages were scrambled, after we contacted BT Relay, a line fault was diagnosed and we helped book an engineer to come out.
Another person is having issues with their care provider and benefits from the knowledge of CDA who have tried to support them, which is difficult when their care provider is disinterested in understanding deaf culture, let alone the issue of accessing healthcare professionals who understand deaf culture, BSL, mental health and dementia.
Without this kind of advocacy service many deaf people in our community would be left without a voice and endure (I don’t use that lightly) isolation, poor care, mis-diagnosis, financial complications etc.
Thankfully, we have plans afoot to formally develop our reach and offering, simply because what currently exists is inadequate.