Support for people who are d/Deaf or deafblind
We provide services to people aged 26 and above who are deaf, live with hearing loss or dual sensory impairment which is also known as deafblind or deafblindness.
We can give you information and advice and assess your needs to find the right support and the right communication support that suits you best.
- You can text on 07920 154 315, saying how you would like us to contact you (for example, BSL by facetime or Zoom) or call 03000 418 100
- Email SensoryServices@kent.gov.uk
- Complete our online referral form
- You can also use the SignLive App
What sensory services offer
We have different services for children and young people aged 0 to 25, for more information visit the deaf, blind or deafblind services for children page.
To ensure that every person in Kent who lives with a form of sensory impairment can access the services and information that they have a right to, we provide a wide range of options to support their needs.
To find out more about our team, sensory services, and who we aim to help, you can watch our BSL presentation that explains what we do on Vimeo.
Hard of hearing
HI Kent can support with hearing equipment and hearing aid clinics where you can get batteries and hearing aid care. If this is a service you require please visit the HI Kent website.
Sign language users
BSL Community provides support to you if you are Deaf and your first, or preferred language is British Sign Language.
BSL Community can assist you with advice, guidance, and help interpret things such as paperwork, letters, bills or booking an interpreter for a GP appointment.
For more information on how to book, please visit BSL Community’s website.
Kent Association for the Blind (KAB) provide support to you if you have a visual impairment.
We can let you know of help in your local area, such as voluntary organisations, local services as well as practical support for your sensory needs. This may be a referral to the enablement service to help you to learn the skills you need to be as independent as you can be.
We can also provide support to your family and or carer and arrange a referral for a carers assessment, find out more on our support for carers page.
If you have eligible needs, then we can support you to set up a package of care which promotes your wellbeing and helps you to remain independent for as long as possible.
Adult safeguarding is the term used to describe the function of protecting adults, aged 18 or over who appear to have health and social care needs, from abuse or neglect.
For more information visit our adult safeguarding page.
Before we can offer you our services, a doctor needs to make sure that your hearing loss is permanent, unless it has been since birth or childhood.
If there are changes to your hearing, you can ask your GP for an ear examination. Once you have received the right health input, we can provide you with the support you need.
Specialist sensory services social workers and registered practitioners
You might have wider needs beyond your sensory impairment, maybe you are finding it hard to remain independent at home, or there are other issues affecting your health and wellbeing. In this case, we can offer you a full care needs assessment.
We look at how your sensory impairment affects your day-to-day life and the things you want and need to do at home and in the community.
We know that everyone is different, so the options will be discussed with you during your assessment and you will be involved in decisions about how best to help improve your situation in a way which makes a difference to you.
You can access SignLive on your desktop or download the app from the App Store or Google Play.
You will need to register the first time you use it. This will give you good video quality and means that your calls are secure.
We provide enablement services if you have a social worker or a registered practitioner in the Sensory Team and need support to be independent.
We help you to learn the skills you need to be able to do things for yourself and find activities to support your health and wellbeing. This may also include visiting you at home to try a range of equipment to support your hearing loss.
- getting benefit and debt advice
- help with budgeting
- tenancy support
- learning to travel independently
- staying safe and well at home, there is more information on our help to live at home page
- assessing you for specialist equipment to help you in your daily life
- teaching and assisting you with communication, like how to make calls with assistive technology, for example, video interpreted calls
- advice on what community support services are available for you, including social and peer support groups
- giving you information around employment, education, training and volunteering.
There are many examples of equipment that can help you stay independent.
- TV amplifiers which may help you to listen at a volume you can control by using headphones without loud volumes upsetting relatives or neighbours.
- We may be able to give you a doorbell, or an app on your phone or alternative devices which flash to alert you that there is someone at the door.
- We can talk to you about different options that may be available to hear when you’re on the phone and when it rings.
- If you are a parent, alerts can also be given to let you know your baby is crying or distressed.
- We can also make a referral for you to get smoke alarms which vibrate which may help you safely escape from fire, especially at night.
There are several interpreting options available so you can access information and services, find out more on our interpretation service page.
Or you can watch our BSL presentation about interpretation services on Vimeo.
Benefits for deaf people in BSL video from the deafPLUS Information and Advice Hub
Money worries or debt
There is plenty of advice and information relating to housing on theDeafplus website
Information is available on the SignHealth video library
Information and advice with the Your Mind - BSL Health Video Library from SignHealth
NHS National Deaf services website
Therapy services available on the Signhealth website
Domestic Abuse BSL Videos from SignHealth
Supported employment for jobseekers on The Education People website
Access to work guidance is available on the Disability Partnership Calderdale website
Care Act for people in need of support
The Care Act Care and Support BSL - YouTube
Care Act for carers
The Care Act Carers BSL - YouTube
Living with hearing loss
Hearing loss information on the deafPLUS Information and Advice Hub
- Royal Association in Aid of Deaf People (RAD) provide a wide range of services for Deaf people, families, and professionals
- British Deaf Association (BDA)
- Sign Health - the deaf health charity
- Deaf Blind UK provides practical and emotional support and use of technology, information, and advice
- Deaf Plus
- National Deaf Children’s Society