Sussex Diocesan Association For the Deaf

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Sussex Diocesan Association For the Deaf

Sussex Diocesan Association For the Deaf

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Our Story

The Sussex Diocesan Association for the Deaf was founded in 1912 to provide spiritual and social welfare for deaf people in Sussex as there was no other support available in the County.

 

The headquarters and offices have been based in Brighton since the beginning and currently in Carlton Hill since 1982. Our Community Venues are located in Bexhill, Brighton and Worthing along with Outreach Support based in Bognor Regis, Burgess Hill, Eastbourne and Hastings. Facilities are provided for social activities and include Leisure & Social Clubs, Darby & Joan Clubs, and a Youth Club.   

 

The offices in Brighton are open daily 9.30am – 5.00pm, Monday to Friday.  We operate a Community Support & Information Service throughout the different venues during the week; where help is given with benefits, employment, housing, hospital/doctors, correspondence and with the personal, everyday problems of deaf people and their families. Much communication between deaf or hearing impaired between staff and individuals is by using British Sign Language or SSE (Sign Supported English).  Much of the correspondence that hearing people receive can be confusing to deaf individuals as words require to be formulated in simplistic terms as English is not their first language.

 

The Association is concerned with the welfare and spiritual needs of deaf people in Sussex. Church Services are conducted in both Sign Language and speech. Services are held at churches in Brighton, Crawley, and Burgess Hill, to name a few.  Until September 2007 for around 5o years, the Association provided a base in Hastings were a specially built chapel was provided. During that time the chapel had beautiful stained glass windows, one of which depicted signing hands.  Unfortunately due to vandalism and a shortage of funding in the immediate area to keep the building going it was decided that the building is to be sold.  Again in April 2009, the decision was taken to close our office in Worthing due to funding restrictions in the West Sussex area.

 

The Association also runs Basic and Accredited Level 1 Classes in British Sign Language at Brighton Deaf Centre and gives talks and training on Deaf Awareness to companies and other service providers.  This can be either at their office or at Brighton Deaf Centre. The staff currently consists of the Manager, three community workers, one clerical and around 20 volunteers some full time and part time, who kindly give up their time to help in the office and with the Arts & Crafts Club for the Deaf & Deaf Blind. The Social Clubs are managed by deaf members and cover a wide range of interests. Frequent reciprocal visits are made to other deaf clubs in the country.

 

In order to help fund the work, the Association makes two annual appeals. One is the Ephphatha Appeal, which goes to all the parishes in the diocese. A Christmas appeal is sent out to our regular subscribers and other interested parties.

 

An Executive Committee manages the Association with assistant from an Independent Sub Committee. The Executive Committee members include a representative from the Diocesan board for social responsibility, the Social Services department of East and West Sussex, a School for Deaf Children and deaf members from various areas of Sussex. The members work hard to help the Association maintain it’s care of the deaf and deafblind people in Sussex. The meetings always have a sign language interpreter.

 

April 2012 is our Centenary year.

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