Deaf Awareness Week: Family & Youth

Today’s theme for Deaf Awareness Week is Family & Youth.  Let’s be honest, growing up and having a family isn’t without challenges, but a communication barrier shouldn’t be one of them!

“I remember when the original service closed in 2016… that was a huge barrier for deaf people. I had a lot of letters and they were piling up… I was concerned I was going to be fined” – Jonathan Lloyd, Co-operative Member

Imagine you can’t read your post or speak to someone on the telephone? What would you do? Where would you go for help? These challenges are stressful for deaf people and can lead to serious problems. That’s where Conwy Deaf Translation and Support Service (CDTSS) come in – it’s a co-operative that takes the stress away for deaf people with day-to-day assistance with communication.

British Sign Language is the only way some deaf people communicate, so a translation service using sign language is essential to make sense of information and phone calls. The closure of the service in Conwy left people in a panic. So a determined local group of Deaf People got together to launch their own translation service, CDTSS. Such a service is vital as research shows 40% of deaf people have a mental health condition and a reliable service makes a huge difference to their well-being.

“When someone arrives, they look sad and worried. But once they’ve come out of the translation service, they are so much happier and smiling” – Fiona Duller, Co-operative Founding Member

The group contacted Care to Co-operate, a service that helps people set up co-operatives to provide care and support in their community. During initial CDTSS meetings, the group transformed into a co-operative, with members deciding together how to run the translation and support services. Care to Co-operate worked alongside the members, providing information and guidance, to turn their aspirations into a reality – improving the lives of members in the community.   

Having been formed by Deaf People with first-hand experience of what support is required, the CDTSS co-operative is more than a translation service. It goes further, providing all manner of general support, including questions on how to use social media or advice on private matters. The co-operative has created a place in Conwy where the Deaf Community are confident they will get the assistance they need. 

Johnathan Lloyd; “I’m so proud of this service – it solves all your problems. I sleep wonderfully now – it’s great!”

If you would like support, you can contact Conwy Deaf Translation and Support Service on: –

Text: 07521 601618 or E-mail: [email protected]   

Want to find out more?  Please see a case study by Care to Co-operate

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