Lara’s trip to the United Kingdom

I would like to share with you my recent trip to the United Kingdom, where I visited to see my family. During my stay, I took the opportunity to connect with five different Deaf organisations, each playing a crucial role in supporting the Deaf community. Here’s a closer look at these organisations:

  1. British Deaf Association (BDA): A prominent organisation advocating for the rights and welfare of Deaf people in the UK.
  2. Deaf Plus: Known for their comprehensive support services catering to various needs within the Deaf community.
  3. Remark!: Focuses on providing accessible communication and services for Deaf individuals, emphasising inclusivity.
  4. Sign Health: Dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Deaf people through healthcare services and advocacy.

These organisations are all based in London, except for the fifth one I visited:

  1. Deaf Village: Located in the Northeast of the UK, this organization serves the local Deaf community with specialised support and services.

Each of these organisations offers unique services tailored to address the diverse needs of Deaf individuals. It was incredibly valuable to meet with representatives from these organisations, where we exchanged insights, discussed common challenges, and shared our respective approaches to supporting the Deaf community.

One significant commonality we discovered is the shared barriers and challenges faced by Deaf people, such as difficulties in accessing employment opportunities and securing Sign Language interpreters, especially in critical areas like mental health and medical appointments. Additionally, both the UK and New Zealand encounter similar challenges in Deaf education for children and adults, highlighting global parallels in the Deaf experience.

Despite these shared challenges, it was evident that each organisation operates uniquely to address local needs and contexts. The exchange of experiences and practices was enriching and inspiring, emphasising the importance of collaboration and shared learning across borders.

I am grateful for the opportunity to network and learn from these dedicated organisations. Their commitment to improving the lives of Deaf individuals is commendable, and I look forward to applying what I’ve learned to enhance our efforts back home in New Zealand.

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