Hi, my name is Mark Healy and I am a Deaf Advocate, currently on secondment in Advonet’s Health Complaints Team from SignHealth.
I am working closely with Andrew Farrell, our Health Complaints Engagement Officer to increase awareness of and improve access to our service with the deaf community. As a deaf person, I have first-hand experience of these barriers so I am well placed to work on making these changes.
We are planning to do some outreach to various organisations such as BID, Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service (LSLCS), the Leeds Society for Deaf and Blind People and Leeds Involving People.
As well as reaching out to the community through talks, leafleting and social media, we are also working to improve the accessibility of Advonet for deaf people.
We are making videos in BSL for our website and setting up a system so deaf people can self-refer into Advonet in their first language. You can watch a video I produced, explaining what advocacy is in BSL here: Advocacy for deaf people.
In the future, we are planning to do some campaigning work within the NHS to improve access for the deaf community such as looking at GP waiting areas and how the deaf community experience the Leeds mental health system.
Thanks for reading!