Special Fire Alarms for Deaf People

November 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Glasgow West, Local News

Jim Robertson and Sheila GartshoreA profoundly deaf widow in the West End has become one of the first people in the city to have a free specialist fire alarm installed in her home. Said Sheila Gartshore (63) ‘I can now sleep more easily.’

The alerter consists of a flashing light on the wall above her bed and a vibrating pad placed under her pillow. These are automatically activated should a fire start.

Sheila has been worried about the risk of fire in her home. She said: ‘Thanks to the new deaf alerter I have more peace of mind. Before this I was quite frightened.’

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue’s, SFR, South Glasgow Area is working in partnership with the Sensory Impairment Team from Social Work Glasgow and £10,000 has been secured for the scheme, city wide, from the SFR’s Chief Office’s Partnership Fund.

An additional £8000 has come from the Community Planning Partnership in the South East through a home safety programme.

Retired, Sheila recently became a grandmother. She volunteers her help one day a week at the WRVS shop in Gartnavel Hospital.

A home assessment was carried out earlier in the year in her home by social work services whose welfare advisor and technician, Alan Duncan, installed the alarm.

He said: ‘I have installed this type of specialist alarm in a dozen homes across the city and have around 100 more lined up. I get real job satisfaction and it is very rewarding.’

Social work services can provide a British Sign Language interpreter to accompany SFR personnel if required when they carry out free home safety visits.

To arrange a visit, just call into any fire station or log on to www.strathclydefire.org and click on the community safety link.

Citizens Advice Staff Are All Ears

November 6, 2008 by  
Filed under Local News, Uncategorized

The team at the Citizens Advice Direct office on Bell Street is now fully trained to deal with calls from people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The office deals with between 600 and 900 calls a week and the team of 13 staff and 55 volunteers are now proficient in the use of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People, RNID, Typetalk telephone system. Typetalk connects people who cannot speak or hear by phone with other people through a text-to-voice and voice-to-text relay service. Joe Forrest, who has been operations manager at the office since it opened in November 2004 told the LOCAL NEWS: ‘Out team are far more confident in dealing with Typetalk calls from deaf or speech impaired people. Talking more slowly and asking more succinct questions are among the things we have had to look at.’ Trainers from RNID visited the Glasgow branch to provide on the spot training. The Citizens Advice Direct service differs from a traditional Citizens Advice Bureau as it deals with both telephone and face to face appointments with customers. To access the Typetalk service call the office on 0844 848 9600 with the prefix 18001. The office is open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm.