For every step a client takes in their journey with POhWER, we will accommodate for any difficulty they may face. For our Deaf clients, their first initial contact with our Help Hub can be done through Relay UK, which will convert spoken messages to text. This program allows people to communicate confidently with our advisors.

C’s story

“C was born profoundly deaf and was living without the care he needed. Without this care, he was at substantial risk; he was unable to make phone calls to book hospital appointments or arrange desperately needed repairs to his home.

C became reliant on people in the community, but would often be let down by people not following through with actions. C felt unable to communicate his needs and was eventually excluded by the community, he was socially isolated.

POhWER received a referral from the mental health team, resulting in C being assigned a POhWER advocate who was able to get C the care he was entitled to under the Care Act. C decided he did not want a specialist British Sign Language trained agency, as he wanted to develop his speech and language skills. This meant that he felt part of the ‘hearing world’.

With the help of his advocate C had his voice heard and was given access to care that would improve his overall quality of life.”

We have British Sign Language (BSL) videos on our website that explain our services, which also include subtitles for non BSL users. Our literature and materials are available in an Easy Read format, which may be more suitable for people whose first language is British Sign Language.

POhWER understands that we have a responsibility to ensure that our clients feel comfortable to speak about issues with the knowledge that any information provided to us is held under strict confidence and no judgement is made. When helping clients who are Deaf, we have specially trained advocates who are able to communicate using British Sigh Language. We also have Deaf advocates working for us. However, when it is not possible to provide a local BSL-trained advocate we call upon trusted services which we work in partnership with, such as DeafPlus. We take our responsibility for providing a safe and comfortable environment for clients to speak freely very seriously, so will only introduce BSL Interpreters that we can trust who are sensitive to the issues our clients face.

B’s story

“B is deaf, and has been struggling for a long time to communicate with his GP. Due to his hearing impairments, he finds booking appointments extremely frustrating. He also finds communicating his needs and the needs of his family to be incredibly difficult as he often found the British Sign Language Interpreters who were present at his appointments were challenging to understand.

B approached POhWER to help express the difficulties he faces and resolve them with the GP Practice. Our advocate arranged for a British Sign Language Interpreter to be present during meetings, and ensured that B felt comfortable around them and their communication was clear.

With help from our advocate, B was able to find a way of communicating with the Practice that suited his needs. He is now able to request his preferred Interpreters be present during appointments between him and his GP, this gives B the confidence that his needs will be communicated, whilst receiving information back clearly. 

B has since offered to give staff training in handling patients with hearing impairments and to raise awareness.”