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Specialist Support Feedback

Feedback from Paul, Communicator-Guide:
Having been employed as a CG for just over a year now, I am continually being refreshed by the ongoing commitment of DBE managers and staff to ensure that service users receive support whenever requested – no matter how short the notice.
I have discovered a ‘family ethos’ in DBE that guarantees that service users receive a service, both knowingly and unknowingly, in excess of that contained within the timesheets. Long may it continue.
January 2014.

Feedback from Steven H, deafblind service user:
Deafblind Enablement provides an excellent interpreting and guiding support service to deafblind people with a high standard of professionalism and quality of support. The company is now the only provider of ad hoc services for deafblind people, where you can obtain support on an as-needed rather than long-term basis. This fills an important gap. For example, most people take it for granted that there is a bus service, if they want to take a bus into town, they are not required to first sign a contract with the bus company stating how many buses they will take per month and who is funding them. Deafblind Enablement will provide a service when it is needed without asking for anything further. This furnishes a very important aspect of the lives of many deafblind people which seems to be being completely overlooked or underrated by other service providers.
In addition, Deafblind Enablement has their own funding arrangements for medical support provided to deafblind people. This means that doctor and dental appointments, and communications support during stays in hospital, are completely free to the service user.
December 2013

AR from Sense:
I wanted to say a huge thank you to Lynn, Paul and Marion for all of your hard work and support.
I can only describe Paul as wonderful, he was willing to do anything to help, constantly upbeat and an absolute joy to work with! He ended up supporting a lady who had not requested a guide after she got a bit confused with our application forms and did an absolutely brilliant job – after being up since 7.00am he was still smiling and energetic at 5.30pm!
Marion was as ever brilliant and both her and the service user seemed to have a lovely day, she even managed to get him up and dancing at one point! Again I cannot fault her or the support she provided.
I really have appreciated the support you have given in finding a communicator-guide and the flexibility with the pairings and timings, I know it’s so hard to wait for information when others are chasing you for it, but I was more than happy with the whole service from initial asks to the final communicator-guides you sourced for us.
October 2013

Rehab Assistant, Essex Cares:
The ad-hoc support for medical appointments programme is a valuable service for deafblind people; the reassurance of having someone to accompany them to the appointment and for them to be able to explain any information missed is very helpful and I know that people I have referred have been very grateful for this service.
July 2013

Feedback from Linda, a deafblind service user:
Thank you very much to everyone at DBE for the help you gave me when I needed it; you all helped me such a lot; they are understanding and they do what they are asked by service users. Without the support of DBE I would not have got as far as I have, following my recent operation my sight has improved drastically and I now no longer need support for medical appointments. They are all excellent!
December 2012

Feedback from Marion, Communicator-guide:
It's easy to go that extra mile because I love my job and love the people I work with as I feel very valued working for DBE.
April 2012

Feedback from Jill, Communicator-guide:
I enjoy the flexibility of working with Deafblind Enablement because it allows me to work but still enjoy leisure time doing the things I want to do.
Being part of a small friently team who are committed to enabling deafblind people gives me a good feeling as we are all working to the same end.
The quality of work provided by Deafblind Enablement is extremely professional but at the same time warm and caring. Want to join the team? It's easy. Just complete an application form, provide necessary qualifications and you're well on your way.
January 2012

Feedback from Ron:
“DBE Communicator-Guide was very good at her job, very efficient, very helpful, nothing was too big or too small for her”.
January 2012

Feedback from Philip, a deafblind service user:

Section 7 Guidance was introduced to make sure that deafblind people can receive support and services they require from local authorities. Typically, this might consist of providing a communicator-guide service for a set number of hours per week which might be delivered under contract on specified days and times.

The downside with this approach is the lack of flexibility that is offered to a service user. For instance, during one week, I may have plans to spend a whole day attending a conference and have some shorter days for the rest of the week to do things like taking my dog out for a walk and doing shopping. The big advantage of this 'ad hoc' approach is that the service user can buy in some communicator-guide hours to enable him/her to achieve plans without being restricted by contractual obligations. It also works the other way round for communicator-guides in that they are able to work when it fits in with their commitments.

My experience of using communicator-guide services based on the ad hoc support model from Deafblind Enablement has been a very positive one. It has been a truly enabling experience for me in terms of exercising choice and control of who provides support and how that support is delivered. One of the important things that has been achieved was for me to re-establish face-to-face contact with family and friends, which would not have been possible without communicator-guide support.

With regard to medical appointments, Deafblind Enablement fully understands the importance of allowing the service user to have choice over who provides support. This can be for several reasons, the first one being that it makes more sense for a service user to use a communicator-guide who has already established a working relationship with him/her. For instance, if a service user has speech difficulties, it takes a significant period of time for a communicator-guide to 'tune into' the service user's speech patterns. This acquired experience can make all the difference between bad and good outcomes at hospital appointments. On the whole, I have found it a very reassuring experience using Deafblind Enablement as the main support service provider for attending medical appointments.

Deafblind Enablement has a great depth of knowledge and experience on deafblindness as well as of the issues facing deafblind people. This includes the provision of some specialist services. They were able to step in and provide me with speech-to-text transcription services when I recently attended a weekend conference. Their support at this conference was much appreciated in terms of enabling me to take a fuller part in the discussions that took place.

On the whole, in my dealings with Deafblind Enablement, I have always found the staff very helpful and understanding. They do have the essential quality of having a real empathy with deafblind people and are open-minded to suggestions and ideas to improve ways for enabling deafblind people to access support services.

19th December 2011.


Over 160 delegates completed Deafblind Enablement’s feedback evaluation forms for Specialist Deafblind Training in 2011-2012 with the following results:
training feedback for 2011-2012

Communicator-Guide Support Worker Course with DBG Level 2 Signature examinations Feedback

2012 Pass Rates for K202 Signature written examinations – everyone successfully passed!
K202 pass rates 2012

2012 Pass rates for Signature T201 (Communicating with Deafblind People).
This assessment is always facilitated by a deafblind person.

T201 pass rates 2012

2012 Pass rates for Signature T202 (Deafblind Manual Communication and Guiding with Deafblind People)
This assessment is always facilitated by a deafblind person.

T202 pass rates 2012

Michael Shaw, Senior Rehabilitation Worker, Gateshead:
I am a senior Rehabilitation Worker working for Sight Service which is a charity for visually impaired people. I was asked by a sister of a gentleman who is profoundly deaf with very low vision, he has Usher Syndrome, if there were any clubs and activities for deafblind people in the area. After much research I found there was very little certainly nothing in our area. This started me thinking that there must be other people in his position feeling isolated. Our CEO then sourced some funding to pay for 6 of us toundertake deafblind training with a view to starting a group specifically with deafblind people in mind and to be able to communicate with any deafblind people who were likely to access our general services.

We contacted Debbie James, Director of Deafblind Enablement. We agreed a package of training and began the course. The course was everything I expected and more. Debbie covers all therelevant areas you need to be able to interact with deafblind people. The training is intense but very worthwhile in the end and has given us the confidence to be able to interact with deafblind people in the future and hopefully get a specific group up and running next year. I believe it adds immensely to the skill base of those involved with visually impaired people and would urge any professional or organisation who may potentially work with deafblind people to undertake the training, excellent.

November 2014

Anita Notenboom, Training Manager, Note Taker and Deafblind Communicator-Guide:
Total Communications (TC) had their Deafblind Communicator-Guide Support Worker Level 2 training on Tuesday 28th August, running over 5 days held by Debbie James from Deafblind Enablement. The team thoroughly enjoyed the training, which consisted of intense classroom theory with practical exercises held in the training venue as well as in a busy shopping centre! This was followed by examinations on the 4th and 5th day. The course was very informative and had us appreciate the sensation of dual sensory loss by using blind folds and ear defenders as well as having the opportunity to communicate and guide genuine deafblind individuals. Although a very eye opening time for our staff, the whole experience was thoroughly enjoyable and Debbie kept the course interesting .We are glad to say that the examinations had a very successful outcome with 12 newly qualified DBG2 TC staff! They are now eager to get out there and use their newfound skills, and therefore bring a very much-needed service to the Reading area. TC would like to thank Debbie for an outstanding course. Her knowledge and experience in this area had us all very humble and if we all hope to become half as good a Communicator-Guide as her, this would be a significant achievement in itself.

November 2012

Julie Stekelenburg, Communicator-Guide Support Worker Course Delegate Feedback:
"I recently did a Deafblind Communicator and Guiding course with Deafblind Enablement and Debbie was the Tutor. Debbie is a fantastic individual with an undying passion for enabling people who are Deafblind. Her enthusiasm and passion are infectious and she delivered the training fantastically. If you or your company want to become Deafblind aware then Debbie & Deafblind Enablement are the group to choose!!"

November 2012

Harps, Communicator-Guide Support Worker Course delegate feedback:
Taking the DBG2 qualification with Deafblind Enablement UK has been advantageous to me in my role as a Social Care Co-ordinator at City Hospital, Birmingham. I can now confidently and effectively communicate with deafblind service users who are admitted to hospital resulting in an enhanced experience for them and a greater degree of job satisfaction for myself. I would recommend the course to anyone who's work involves any sort of interaction with deafblind people or anyone with a keen interest. I thoroughly enjoyed the course and would like to thank Deafblind Enablement for offering the opportunity to take on a new qualification.

June 2012

Norma, Communicator-Guide Support Worker Course Delegate Feedback:
I would like to say that I found the course VERY intensive ~ but in a good way!! We were taught so many new things about the importance of being a good, effective communicator guide. The techniques used were varied as people were able to contribute from their own experiences, where appropriate, and we were taught new things in a clear, dynamic, professional, yet fun way ~ which always makes the learning experience easier. It’s one thing being ‘class taught’, quite another putting it in to practise!! To that end it was helpful to have a deafblind person come in to one of our sessions to allow us to glean from his experiences both as a deafblind person and as a service user. We also used our newly learned skills with each other in ‘real life’ situations; taking one another out for walks while using Simulation Specs & Ear Defenders and we also went to a shopping centre to facilitate the experience further by being among people out shopping, using stairs and different types of doors, floorings and all many of obstacles which present themselves in the real world !!

All in all, I felt that the Communicator Guide course delivered by 'Deafblind Enablement' was very, very good ~ I have actually been thinking of looking in to a level 3 course, if such a course exists!!

January 2012

Bev Bishop
Communicator Guide Service Manager, Surrey Association for Visual Impairment (SAVI), Specialist One to One Support for people with Dual Sensory Impairment.

Using a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the worst/least and 10 the best, please rate the following:
How easy was it to book the service? 8
How would you rate the service provided? 10
How likely is it that you would recommend Deafblind Enablement? 10

If you have any additional information / comments / compliments, please write them below:

Participants found the course informative, supportive and the instructors very knowledgeable. People did find the course intensive and get extremely nervous about the examinations. From the service perspective, there was very effective collaboration and communication between Deafblind Enablement and ourselves. This ensured shared understanding regarding principles underpinning service delivery and delivery of key objectives required to complete examination.

It was very important to SAVI, that people with Combined Sight and Hearing Loss using our services were included in the delivery of the training.
We look forward to working with you again in the near future.

November 2011

Deafblind Awareness and Specialist Assessment Course Feedback

Angela Mantripp, West Sussex Deaf Services Team Manager:
Just to say a very big thank you for the training over the last two days. The whole team enjoyed the two days and gained a lot from it. Even though we are all specialist workers and have a lot of knowledge and skill already, we all felt we gained enhanced knowledge of the issues facing Deafblind People and will use this to inform our practice when assessing the needs of Deafblind People.

March 2014

Simon Richardson, Workforce Development Team and the Sensory Impairment Team in Hackney Social Care states:

Using a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the worst/least and 10 the best, please rate the following:
How easy was it to book the service? 7
How would you rate the service provided? 8
How likely is it that you would recommend Deafblind Enablement? 8
If you have any additional information / comments / compliments, please write them below:
Deafblind Enablement provided two days of very good training for staff in our Sensory Team, improving their understanding of deafblind people and how to work with them to carry out an effective assessment.
Our delegates were impressed by the trainer’s knowledge, experience and enthusiasm and the opportunity to appreciate the needs of someone with dual sensory loss through simulation exercises and the face to face discussion with a deafblind person.

January 2013

Amanda Brown, Sensing Change, Director and Practicing Social Worker states:

"Recently Debbie produced and led a specially commissioned training package on Deafblind Awareness and Specialist Deafblind Assessment Skills for Sensing Change. Debbie has worked within the field of Deafblindness for many years and this shows in her use of case examples that were insightful and relevant to the issues discussed. Debbie produced a detailed and factual training pack to take away, that we can use as a tool kit when writing specialist assessments. Thank you Debbie for sharing with us your passion for Deafblind issues, we certainly felt that we had been "enabled" to provide a specialist and professional service for Deafblind people in Suffolk."

November 2012

Chris Outhwaite, Sensory Team Manager

Deafblind Enablement facilitated the Section Seven Assessment training course for our Sensory teams in Dudley.
The course was tailor made to our needs. We used a venue of our choice, we ran the course over two days and we included our own section seven assessment paperwork.
The teams reported that they valued the course timing for several reasons:

The teams valued the course content;
This was a great opportunity to joint work across the sensory teams and to develop our services in Dudley. We still have a long way to go but it is reassuring that we are heading in the right direction.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Deafblind Enablement for their support and assistance in our development.

Deafblind Awareness Course Feedback