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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 the initial lockdown 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.  

SignHealth is not funded to do the majority of this work, but the pandemic required urgent action. We couldn’t wait for funding to become available, but the effort is taking its toll. Please consider becoming a SignHealth supporter today. Your support is needed now more than ever.

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

– Deaf BSL user
In addition to our usual activities, SignHealth has:
  • translated 100 government briefings and 2 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. So far the service has facilitated 12,000 calls
  • our key workers have found innovative ways to support our home and outreach clients throughout lockdown while also keeping our services 100% free of COVID-19
  • expanded our Domestic Abuse Service to accept referrals throughout England and Wales
  • 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 show on 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 us in ensuring services like BSL Health Access continue and in 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.

Our services are needed more than ever – but without your support we may not have funds to give the support that’s needed.


See how your help is supporting Deaf people…

Coronavirus Resources

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

SignHealth Crisis Text Service

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