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SignHealth’s Coronavirus Response

We continue to be so grateful for all of our amazing key workers who provided support to our residents and clients throughout lockdowns and continue to do so today across England.

While many charities have had to scale back, SignHealth has grown and taken on new activities and services to ensure we could support the health and wellbeing of Deaf people under the shadow of a global pandemic.

We will continue to provide the information needed in BSL as long as we need to.  

“Thank you for providing BSL Health Access, it’s been a lifeline.”

– Deaf BSL user
In addition to our usual activities, SignHealth has:
  • translated over 150 government briefings and 6 shielding letters as part of our commitment to making sure COVID-19 information is available in BSL
  • launched BSL Health Access to ensure Deaf people have free remote access to all health settings nationwide during the pandemic. The service has facilitated over 42,000 calls during the time it was available.
  • our key workers have found innovative ways to support our home and outreach clients throughout lockdown
  • expanded our Domestic Abuse Service to accept referrals throughout England and Wales
  • working with NHS Test & Trace departments to improve access for Deaf people
  • ensured COVID-19 testing sites were made accessible
  • produced the ‘About Me’ wellbeing plan for Deaf people isolating
  • partnered with the Association of Sign Language Interterpreters (ASLI) to produce best practice guides for booking interpreters during the pandemic
  • co-organised a show with BSL Zone and translated resources to help domestic abuse survivors find support during the pandemic
  • translated changes to guidance concerning face covering requirements.

Donate today to our Coronavirus response

£30 could pay for one of our key workers to visit a client in the community, to support them with adapting to new rules and regulations and in keeping safe and well.

Challenging health inequality

The current emergency is compounding Deaf people’s unequal access to healthcare. We are at a higher risk of catching and spreading COVID-19, as we do not have the same access to vital public health information.

We have learned of disturbing stories of hospitalised Deaf patients with COVID-19 isolated from their loved ones, unable to communicate with their health carers. They did not know what was happening to them and their families were not updated. PPE face coverings make lipreading and the understanding of facial expression impossible, which would normally help many Deaf people communicate in the absence of an interpreter.

It is vital that Deaf people are able communicate directly with medical professionals and receive treatment so that lives can be saved. We must ensure that a Deaf person battling with Coronavirus is not also having to fight to be understood, so that Deaf people are given the very best chance of a positive outcome.

Please consider supporting our Coronavirus response and our work rooting out the causes of health inequalities more broadly.

Providing virtual therapy sessions

“Signhealth counsellor has been a great help during this crisis”

– Psychological Therapy Service Client

Our therapists have continued to meet with Deaf people, supporting each client through this crisis as well as providing personalised plans for overcoming this unprecedented challenge to good mental health.

We have also shared advice for improving sleeping patterns during lockdown and coping with bereavement.

Empowering domestic abuse survivors with digital support

Our service quickly adapted to continue to meet the needs of clients.

We have also expanded our Domestic Abuse support service to now accept referrals throughout England, meeting with and supporting survivors over video calls.

Coronavirus Resources

View, share and download the latest COVID-19 information and guidance available in BSL.

SignHealth Crisis Text Service

If you are deaf and experiencing a crisis, text DEAF to 85258 for free and immediate support.

Learn More