The environment has been carefully planned in consultation with our specialist service development team. Features such as round tables to support signing requirements have been used in communal areas to allow individuals to position themselves with plenty of space and in a circular fashion, enabling everyone at the table to be able to see each other when signing. Diffuse lighting has been used in preference of a strong single light source to reduce shadows which can serve as a distraction when using sign language.
Many of our staff on the new ward will be hearing impaired or Deaf and all staff will have completed Deaf Awareness training. As many therapies delivered on the ward rely on clear communication, this training has been essential to guarantee service users receive care in an accessible way and through a familiar format. Many of the frustrations felt by our service users result in being unable to express themselves clearly so by addressing the tool used for communication, we aim to break down some of those barriers.
Service user safety and wellbeing has been prioritised for the alarm systems. Fire alarms and doorbells have been fitted with flashing lights which will alert service users and staff to a situation. Staff will also carry pager's set to vibrate which should allow them to receive a text signal when a fire sensor has been actiavted, reducing the reliance on sounder and visual alarms.
Communication has been adapted, with the introduction of text phones through the unit and instructions on how to communicate via textphone introduced on the intranet to allow staff throughout the charity to communicate with all services easily. This facility has been extended to the link in lifts for emergencies with video telephone links installed to allow communication through any medium to occur swiftly in the case of an emergency.
For further details on our deaf service or any other of our new specialist services in William Wake House opening December 2010, please contact our enquiries team on 0800 434 6690