What is Advocacy?
Deaf/Hard of Hearing Advocacy is means of getting support from someone they trust to help a Deaf, Deafblind or Hard of Hearing person to express their views and wishes, and to help them stand up for their rights.
Advocacy is not about acting in what is perceived to be the person’s best interests, but it is about standing with the Deaf, Deafblind and Hard of Hearing person to ensure that they are able to have their say to try get what they need and want.
Some Deaf, Deafblind and Hard of Hearing people find that advocacy helps when they feel they are not being listened to, or are not getting what they need and would like some support. People could need advocacy support at any point of their lives however it becomes especially relevant where:
- People are being treated unfairly as a result of other people’s prejudices, or their own vulnerability, or both.
- People feel they have no family, friends or anyone in the wider community whom they can turn to for support.
- Family and/or friends may be part of the problem.
- People may have professional paid workers involved in their lives who are not providing services which take into account their needs and/or requirements.
An advocate will:
- Support the Deaf, Deafblind or Hard of Hearing person in expressing their views, concerns and opinions.
- Speak on behalf of the Deaf, Deafblind or Hard of Hearing person, raising any issues where required, but only as the Deaf, Deafblind or Hard of Hearing person It is desirable that people regain their own power to speak for themselves where possible.
- Advocates will support Deaf, Deafblind or Hard of Hearing person when they speak for themselves.
- Develop a one to one working relationship with the Deaf, Deafblind or Hard of Hearing person for as long as the person wishes it to continue.
- Allow the Deaf, Deafblind or Hard of Hearing person to make his or her own decisions and choices whenever possible, even if the process of engagement is slow and uncertain. An advocate ensures that their client retains maximum control.
- Remain neutral, and independent of organisations and services that the Deaf, Deafblind or Hard of Hearing person is dealing with.
- Understand and respect the rights of Deaf, Deafblind or Hard of Hearing person’s confidentiality at all times. Advocates defend their Deaf, Deafblind or Hard of Hearing persons’ information unless expressly allowed to share it.
We can help you to:
- Talk things through
- Understand your rights and get them respected
- Get unbiased information about what you want to know
- Work out your options
Deaf HubWhat can we help you with?
As part of the Zebra Access' Reaching Communities 'Deaf Hub' project, with the support of the Big Lottery Fund, Advocacy drop-in Centres for deaf and hard of hearing people are now up and running to assist with a range of queries, complaints, form filling, and many more.find out More