Steve McCabe MP welcomes new quality mark to improve residential care for British Sign Language users

Steve McCabe, MP has pledged his support for improving residential care for older Deaf people who communicate using British Sign Language (BSL) by raising awareness of a new Deaf-Aware Care quality mark for care homes. The quality mark has been developed by RAD and Sonus, two charities that support Deaf people.

Steve met a number of older Deaf people including Leslie Key, a Deaf 88-year-old care home resident, who said, “When you cannot communicate with anybody because nobody uses or understands sign language or what it is like to be deaf then believe me that’s hell.” Currently, a new study has been launched by the University of Manchester into social care for older deaf people. This confirmed that older BSL users were receiving inadequate residential care because their cultural and communication needs were ignored.

Steve McCabe MP said:

“For Deaf BSL users, life in residential homes where no-one speaks their language can be depressing and they can become isolated and withdrawn. I will be encouraging homes in Birmingham Selly Oak to achieve the Deaf-Aware Care quality mark to make older deaf people’s lives easier. In the next 20 years, the number of BSL users over 65 will increase by 35 per cent. We need to become more Deaf-aware now to ensure their needs are met.”

Jan Sheldon, chief executive of RAD, said, “It is great to have Steve McCabe’s support for making residential care homes better places for deaf BSL users to live in.”

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