Refugees who are deaf have the same rights to services as other deaf people. It is important to be aware of their diverse needs, particularly as people who are deaf are often over-represented in mental health settings.
Living in a hearing world can isolate a person living with deafness; this can be compounded when the person is a refugee. A deaf person may have difficulty knowing where to get help and may have mental health problems.
Many deaf people will communicate with health practitioners in British Sign Language. However as refugees may not sign in BSL, practitioners will need to find an interpreter for the deaf in the language of the client.
The RNID can offer support in finding an English language interpreter.
The Association of Sign Language Interpreters may also be able to help in finding non-English interpreters.
Mental Health and Deafness - Towards Equity and Access: Best Practice Guidance (DH) provides guidance on ways to promote mental health and improve services for people who are deaf.
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