GDA is the only charity in Gloucestershire offering practical and emotional support to children, young people and adults who have been born deaf and are British Sign Language (BSL) users, and those who have become deaf through illness or age.
Deafness is one of the most misunderstood disabilities within our society. What many people don’t understand about deafness is just how extremely isolating it can be. Most will assume it is simply about not being able to hear, but in fact deafness is about the daily struggles a person has with communication and the heart-breaking effect that it has on a person’s mental and physical wellbeing. No-ones deserves to live in a world of loneliness and isolation, and thanks to the work of GDA, they are ensuring that no deaf person in Gloucestershire does.
All the services GDA provides aim to enable a person to live confidently with their deafness, services such as:
- Employment support for BSL users
- A twice-a-year Friendship Circle social event
- Weekly Lip-reading classes
- Access to a Family Support Worker
- A regular deaf children’s club and youth social activities
- A monthly Lunch Club for BSL users
- The provision of British Sign Language (BSL) interpreters at medical, employment or school appointments
- Access to a free Transport Fund which enables a person to attend GDA’s social activities and services
- Weekly hard of hearing clubs
- The installation of specialist listening aid equipment such as amplified telephone, flashing doorbells and TV listeners
We think this quote from someone who benefits from GDA’s support, perfectly sums up just how important the work of our charity is:
“For me it’s like living in a cloud that keeps the sound out. It’s isolating and frightening. When I moved to Gloucestershire I was already hard of hearing. Though my hearing loss wasn’t as profound as it is today, I couldn’t use my phone, and meeting new people and fitting into my new community was difficult. It seems ok to say “sorry I didn’t hear you” once, maybe twice, but after a while people just give up. They walk away, or turn to someone who can hear them. And you are left alone inside the silencing cloud, feeling ashamed, stupid and lonely. When I found GDA my life changed. No one at GDA ever walks away if you can’t hear them. The organisation fosters a warm, welcoming, solution-focused atmosphere. I have found my tribe, and we all accept and support each other. We have a lot of fun, and enjoy life a lot more as a result.”
Our website is: www.gda.org.uk