Specialist Information, Advice & Support Service

Cumbria Deaf Association has been successful in tendering for a grant from Cumbria County Council to deliver a customised Specialist Information, Advice and Support service to meet the needs of Cumbrian adult residents with any degree of hearing or dual sensory loss.

The one-year grant will enable CDA to provide a County wide service of information advice and support, delivered by specialist staff with the relevant BSL and other communication skills, knowledge, experience and cultural appreciation to meet the diverse needs of Cumbria’s 80,000 residents with any degree of hearing or dual sensory loss.

The service will ensure that Deaf and Hard of Hearing members of the community are able to gain the help and support necessary to meet with their communication requirements. The service will also ensure that profoundly Deaf people, whose first or preferred language is British Sign Language have an accessible, local and bespoke service.

Such provision addresses the difficulties many deaf people have experienced when attempting to access mainstream services not able to meet their communication needs, preventing their potential exclusion and enabling deaf community members to live independent lives and play a full and active role within the local community.

The IAS service will provide regular, weekly “drop in” duty service surgeries at key strategic community locations in Carlisle, Penrith, Kendal, Barrow and Whitehaven supplemented by a one to one appointment, outreach service and home based support.

Cumbria Deaf Association will also work with a number of cross sector partners to maximise service access and support, by providing training and advice to those organisations in how to provide accessible services and support to deaf community members, whilst also providing a signposting and referral point to the County’s social work and other statutory services.

The service will also support and facilitate a range of customised and accessible community events and activities including Specialist Equipment workshops to inform people with any degree of hearing loss regarding the range of equipment available to address their needs.

This will ensure that deaf community members can enjoy an informed and active role in civic society, are aware of local issues and have an opportunity to positively influence the development of future services, to ensure that deaf people are not excluded and Cumbria develops an inclusive approach to Deaf community engagement and statutory service support.