People who receive services from their Local Authority social work or housing department can opt to take charge of buying the service they feel best suits them. This is known as self-directed support (SDS). So that deaf people can choose this method of controlling their support package, if they want to.
Scottish Council on Deafness recommends:
1. Deaf people who want to use SDS have access to a care manager or social worker who has received accredited deaf awareness and communication skills training.
2. If the care manager or social worker does not have the necessary and appropriate communication skills – a minimum of British Sign Language (BSL) accredited Level 2 – to communicate directly with the deaf person, then appropriate professional registered communication support should be provided and paid for by the social work department.1
3. Care plans should be fully accessible to the deaf person and if necessary, should be produced in the deaf person’s preferred format.2
4. Organisations that have a support role for deaf people who access SDS should be fully deaf aware and where possible, should employ deaf people to offer the necessary support and training to deaf people who access SDS.
5. All training for personal assistants and support staff for deaf people who want to use SDS to live independently should be financed by the local authority providing the SDS package.
6. All training offered to deaf people who want to access SDS should be appropriate and accessible. Information must be accessible and provided in the deaf person’s preferred format.
7. Deaf people who want the support of an independent advocate should be referred to an appropriate independent advocacy organisation.