A day in the life of our Information and Advice Line operators

Sight and hearing loss can be frustrating and difficult to cope with, especially if you have other health conditions to contend with. For those who are new to sight and hearing loss, it can be difficult to accept lifestyle changes like giving up driving, making changes to your home, finding out what benefits are available.  Our information and advice line is a savior for people who need any level of advice, support or reassurance.

We spent some time with Lyn Pollard from Deafblind UK, and her team, to witness just how valuable this service is.

It’s first thing in the morning and Lyn sits down to check her emails. The information and advice line is available over email and text message too. There is an email from a support worker who is trying to find motorbike lessons for a gentleman who is deaf. Lyn replies with some links to local organisations that might be able to help and gives him some advice about funding the lessons too.

The phone rings and it is a lady who has sight and hearing impairments. She and her husband have recently moved into a smaller flat and are confused about their housing benefit entitlement. At a recent visit from a social worker, she felt that she didn’t have the opportunity to really explain how difficult she finds things and is worried that their financial position will be affected by this. The lady is clearly quite upset and Lyn reassured her and calmed her down, explaining the process that they were going through. Lyn later emailed the lady with some further information that will help her.

The next call was from a lady who has recently been forced to stop driving due to her poor eyesight. She wants to learn how to do her food shopping online, so Lyn has arranged for Deafblind UK’s Digital Support team to visit her for some training.

Another email comes in, this time from someone who wants to learn ‘hands-on’ signing (a tactile form of British Sign Language). Lyn contacts the training team to find out where this can be done.

Lyn is just one of a team of people taking calls and answering emails and text messages from people who need help, support or advice. These are people from all walks of life who are, in some way, affected by sight and hearing loss.

The information and advice line is free of charge and open between 8.30am – 5.00pm Monday -Thursday and 8.30am – 4.00pm on Fridays.

Tel: 0800 132320

Text: 07950 008870

Email: info@deafblind.org.uk