Search

‘Frightened’ and ‘stressed out’ deaf community plea for help from Camden Council

15:15 15 July 2014

Deaf campaigners outside Camden Town Hall (from left) Janet Campbell, Joyce Yankey, Billy McLaughlin, Peter Wiener and Andy Readman. They are signing the words "Deaf need access council service". Picture: Polly Hancock

Deaf campaigners outside Camden Town Hall (from left) Janet Campbell, Joyce Yankey, Billy McLaughlin, Peter Wiener and Andy Readman. They are signing the words "Deaf need access council service". Picture: Polly Hancock

Polly Hancock

The fallout following the closure of a disability charity in Camden has left the deaf community “devastated”, “frightened” and “utterly stressed out”, campaigners warned councillors last week.

Deaf people in the borough say the loss of sign language interpreters has meant they have been unable to access council services, make urgent repairs to their council homes or even get basic advice.

It follows the closure of Disability in Camden (DISC) in March.

The charity had been a lifeline for many of Camden’s disabled residents for over 40 years and offered the deaf community services like interpreters and employment training.

It has been left to informal organisations like the Deaf and Disability Awareness Group (DDAG) to pick up the pieces, with them claiming that the ordeal had put the community “back in time”,

The group issued a stark warning to councillors during the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee that the council “needed to do more to help”.

Petra Dando, of DDAG, said: “It has become very clear to us that the services are just not there for Camden’s deaf community.

“Ultimately our aim must be to try to empower members of the deaf community who are very able and capable but clearly, like all of us, need to be given support in a very tailored and structured way.

“Following the closure of DISC, there really has been a lack of personal touch from the council in helping the community.”

Half-a-dozen representatives from the deaf community arrived at the council meeting at the town hall in Judd Street.

They called for the council to employ British Sign Language interpreters, to receive more training around “deaf awareness” and to set up a regular housing and 
repairs surgery for the deaf.

Monika Caro, of DDAG, said: “If you can imagine that you cannot hear a baby cry, or wonderful music, or the birds singing – and all you hear is nothing.

“And then you seek help and you do not receive it, and then you end up the way the community is at the moment: totally and utterly stressed out, and they are also frightened.”

William Roberts, director of strategy and planning at Camden Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), has been working with other health groups across Camden to highlight deaf issues.

He told councillors: “This is one of those issues where it’s lots of small things that would be very easy to sort out and make a huge difference to this community.

“We’re not talking about seismic changes and it doesn’t require a lot of money. It just requires a commitment to do it.”

Responding to the concerns, Cllr Alison Kelly, chairman of the Health and Adult Social Care Scrutiny Committee, said their message had been “powerful”.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

20 minutes ago
Jane Blackburn. Picture: Nigel Sutton.

The former manager of a trust set up to preserve the character of Hampstead Garden Suburb has been heralded for her professionalism, having stepped down after 10 years in the job.

Yesterday, 15:00
Jose Dent. Picture: Charlie Hopkinson/Gardens Illustrated.

A popular Hampstead horticulturalist has been remembered for her generosity and kindness.

Yesterday, 12:00
A mock section of the proposed anti-suicide fence at Archway Bridge is erected. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A mock-up section of controversial “prison-like” anti-suicide measures proposed for historic Archway Bridge has shown for the first time how they will look in real life.

Yesterday, 08:00
Susie Gregson, chairman of the society, and Jacqueline Morris, 87, who left the school in 1945, (front centre) with a group of girls  who left in 2010. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Former pupils who attended a top Suburb school between five and 80 years ago returned to mark the 90th anniversary of its alumnae society.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

The lights went off and the cameras came out.

Call it the X Factor, star quality, even ‘something’ but whatever ‘it’ is Ed’s not got it, says the PM.

The Ukip leader doesn’t want to be too scripted for the seven-way televised encounter.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder