Report written by
Mandy Reid, Development Officer, deafscotland
The lockdown for the Covid-19 pandemic has increased the level of barriers people affected by deafness in Scotland face on a day-to-day basis. deafscotland understands that population safety is the number one priority for the Scottish Government and that a number of measures taken to protect healthcare and other professionals and the public are necessary. But some of these measures have increased the fear and anxiety of people affected by deafness at a time when there are few services to offer them accessible and inclusive support and solutions to their isolation and mental ill-health.
As it became clear that the lockdown would continue for more than a few weeks, deafscotland received more and more emails and phone calls asking where deaf people could get information, advice and support to help them cope with the additional isolation and separation they were having to deal with through social distancing, self-isolation and the number of people covering their faces with masks.
deafscotland put together surveys to gather evidence directly from deaf people (across the four pillars of deafness) that would explain exactly what they experience and feel and have to deal with on a day-to-day basis during this lockdown. We are also reporting on the qualitative information from our membership – organisations across the Private, Public and Third sectors – and from the enquiries we have had from people affected by deafness and their relatives during the crisis as they cannot access the services and support they would normally have access to.