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Deafblind UK
Our Vision and Mission

Vision

Deafblind UK’s vision is that people who have a combined sight and hearing loss should have the same rights, access and opportunities as others.


Mission

Deafblind UK is a membership organisation of, and governed by, people who are deafblind or have both a sight and hearing loss. We champion the rights and interests of all people who are deafblind or have a combined sight and hearing loss and deliver quality services to give these individuals autonomy and control over their lives. Through our work we support equality, independence and choice.


Our overarching goals

1)    To work towards a more equal society by raising awareness and understanding of deafblindness by engaging with people who have a sight and hearing loss, the Government and other organisations, individuals and communities.

2)  To enable people with both a sight and hearing loss to remain in their own homes and participate in their local communities.   

3)    To provide relevant, high quality Peer SupportBefriending and Information and Adviceservices to people with a dual sensory loss, helping them to; live independently, interact with others, understand their rights and access their entitlements.

Who We Serve and Our Services

Who We Serve

Who We Serve

What is deafblindness?

Deafblindness is a unique disability that affects a large and growing number of people across the UK. Defined as “a combined sight and hearing loss causing difficulties with communication, access to information and mobility” (Social Care for Deafblind Children and Adults, LAC 2009(8), Department of Health), deafblindness ranges from people with some residual sight and hearing to those with profound loss who rely on touch to communicate.

 

There are four basic groups of deafblindness, although some will not ‘fit’ into any of these categories:

  • People born deafblind (congenitally deafblind)
  • People born deaf who later lose their vision
  • People born blind who later lose their hearing
  • People who acquire a sight and hearing loss, often in later life (including most Deafblind UK members)

 

In the UK today, there are an estimated 356,000 deafblind people. From this number, 222,000 are aged over 70. Our ageing population means that by 2030 this number will almost double to 418,000, from a total number of 569,000 deafblind people in the UK (Sense).

 

Our Services

Local Services - London Outreach Service

At Deafblind UK we have an Outreach Service in London. Our outreach service provides the essential and specialist support to Londoners who have a combined sight and hearing loss.

 

The London Outreach team aim to identify as many people across London who have a combined sight and hearing loss and initially offer free Deafblind UK membership. Free Deafblind UK membership enables the person to access the following; Information and Advice Line, support for their relatives/carers, advice around benefits or related areas, our quarterly magazine Open Hand in accessible formats, tactile birthday and Christmas cards and regular contact from a member of the Deafblind UK team. In addition to free Deafblind UK membership, the London Outreach Service provides access to the London Outreach Officers who support with day to day issues, complete advocacy and casework and maintain regular contact with the member amongst much more. The member will also have the opportunity to benefit from our Befriender service and/or attend one of our social groups in London.

 

The Befriender Service is to enhance the person’s quality of life by introducing one of our Volunteer Befrienders. The Befriender will meet with them regularly for a chat, go out and about in the community or keep in contact via email or telephone if they would prefer – the options are endless. The Volunteer Befrienders are an essential part of breaking the level of isolation that some of our members experience from having a combined sight and hearing loss.

 

Our Volunteers are recruited from a wide range of backgrounds, all have the passion to meet others and make a real difference to another person’s life. Our Volunteers take on a number of Befriender roles including; Home, Social, Telephone or Email Befriender. We also have a number of Volunteers who take on the Group Volunteer role to support our social groups across London or IPad Demonstrator role to provide awareness to our members about the accessibility and features of technology including tablets. Every Volunteer is taken through an application process by completing a DBS check, references and then induction with a London Outreach Officer.

 

The London Outreach Service is currently available in the 12 inner London boroughs including Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Wandsworth, Tower Hamlets, Lambeth, Hackney, Islington, Camden, Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Westminster. However if you live outside these boroughs you can still become a member of Deafblind UK so please do get in touch to find out what support we could offer.

 

If you would like to find out further information or discuss our London Outreach Services please do get in touch with us.

YOUR FEEDBACK

Finding Us

The National Centre for Deafblindness
John and Lucille van Geest Place, Cygnet Road
Hampton, Peterborough
PE7 8FD