Introduction to BSL Helpline for East Midlands

It is with great thanks to the support from National Emergencies Trust, the BDA have established and are running a BSL Helpline for the Deaf community in East Midlands. This is to provide information, advice and support to Deaf people who live in East Midlands to ensure that all have access to information about what is happening locally in response to the Coronavirus pandemic.

This project happened in response to the confusion caused as the coronavirus pandemic hit the country and this caused major confusion in the Deaf community. The country went into lockdowns which highlighted the access issues for Deaf people to information that was not readily available.

This project allows equal access to information and Deaf people will have the same access as hearing people. For example, being able to contact services for information, advice or support, hearing people can make a telephone call and Deaf people are able to do the same in BSL to access the support available.

The BDA Access and Inclusion Officer is making contact with all organisations that are providing support during this time or the various support hubs across East Midlands to ensure that they are accessible for Deaf people as the majority have used a telephone number to make initial contact to request support. We have been supporting them to amend their contact information to ensure that Deaf people are able to access their support when needed. This will enable the BDA to effectively signpost Deaf people to the correct service to meet their particular needs.

As part of this project the BDA are creating a series of BSL interview videos below to raise awareness of their barriers and how they are overcoming with their lived experience during this pandemic.

If you wish to have further details or wish to discuss this project, please contact Robin Ash, Access & Inclusion Officer and his contact details are below:

SMS: 07814387251

BSL Helpline for Deaf people living in East Midlands

This helpline is to provide local information, advice and support networks in East Midlands. This could be changes to Council services or where to get support from during the Coronavirus pandemic.

If you are Deaf and need some information or support then please contact this BSL Helpline. (Please note that this is not a letter translation service, counselling or a way to book BSL Interpreters) The BSL Helpline is a way for Deaf people to get support or advice through this crisis.


Robin Ash - BDA

Robin Ash
Access & Inclusion (East Midlands)
Community Development
SMS: 07814387251


This helpline for advice or information will run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10.00 am to 12 noon. This helpline is by appointment only. Please text, Facetime, WhatsApp or email for an appointment time.

BSL Helpline for Deaf people living in East Midlands

The BDA Midlands have been contacted by a number of Deaf people to enquire about various issues related to the vaccination process for the Covid-19 vaccination.  We agreed with Niki Johnson, who provides Deaf Cancer support from Self Help UK, to arrange a meeting with Claire Haynes from NHS Derby and Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to set up a question and answer session which has been divided into three categories.  These three categories have been determined by the questions or queries posed to us by Deaf people.

Niki and I asked the Deaf community from Derby and Derbyshire to pose any questions to us to ask their local CCG.  We would like to thank all those who made contact with us and asked a question or posed a query.  We separated these into the three categories and then asked Claire these questions and she responded to each question or query in turn.

It is important to note that the answers that Claire has given in these videos may change over time depending on changes to Government guidance or scientific research.  This does not mean this information is wrong it means that at the time of recording this, April 2021, the information was correct.

It is also important to note that the information given is for Deaf people in Derby and Derbyshire.  Nottinghamshire Deaf Welling Action group and Leicestershire Deaf Forum have had an opportunity to attend a forum meeting with their respective CCGs to raise their issues regarding the vaccination process in their areas.

The information relates to Derby and Derbyshire but much of the content may be similar for other areas.  If you wish to have a look please do, there are three parts to this question & answer series.

  • Part 1 is general questions about the vaccine, what are the differences and to raise some concerns that people have raised. (Wednesday 5 May 2021)
  • Part 2 is about people with specific health issues and want some clarification. (Thursday 6 May 2021)
  • Part 3 is about communication and provision of BSL interpreters which is more relevant to the Derby and Derbyshire area. (Friday 7 May 2021)