Scottish Council on Deafness recommends:
1. All social work services should carry out Equality Impact Assessments2 to ensure the needs of deaf people are met.
2. Deaf people should have full and relevant involvement in the setting of social work service priorities and in the planning, provision and monitoring of such services.
3. All social work and social care training courses should contain accredited deaf awareness training.
4. Social work training courses should be accessible to deaf students.
5. Each social work department should have an identifi ed manager who has a thorough understanding of deaf issues and accredited deaf awareness training.3 They should be responsible for ensuring that social work services are not only fully accessible to deaf people but are compliant with all legislation relevant to deaf people.
6. Social work services should make sure that their services are fully accessible to deaf people by ensuring all staff receive accredited deaf awareness and communication skills training during their induction and on an annual basis. Staff with particular responsibility for working with Deaf people should be qualified to a minimum of Level 2 in British Sign Language (BSL).
7. All social work service staff should have an awareness of the range of communication support4 available to deaf people and know how to book the appropriate support for their deaf service users, deaf families and carers.
8. Social work departments should be aware of their responsibility under the Equality Act 2010 for the provision and payment of personal communication support for deaf people.
9. Information systems – appointment booking, case notes, etc – should record the person’s communication support needs. This should follow the person from referral through all service provision. It should be in a format that can be transferred to another social work service in Scotland and/or the rest of the UK if required.
1 For more guidance on this Act, please see our Information Sheet entitled Equality Act 2010
2 See our Information Sheet on Terminology
3 Find out more in our Information Sheet on Deaf Awareness Training
4 More details in our Information Sheet on Communication Support