Support services for deaf and hard of hearing

Local support services for deaf and hard of hearing

There are various agencies that can support, give advice and provide equipment to aid you.

Bournemouth Deaf Centre

Lockyer Hall
27a Morley Road
Bournemouth, BH5 2JJ

This is a club for deaf people of all ages. The Social club runs on Thursdays from 8pm-11pm. A Senior Citizens Club is also held at the centre on Wednesdays between 11.30am and 3.30pm.

Bournemouth Society for the Visually Impaired (BSVI) – services for hard of hearing

5 Victoria Park Road
Bournemouth, BH9 2RB
Tel: 01202 546644

BSVI is a voluntary centre for the visually or hearing impaired. They offer advice, support, contacts, information and equipment. Services offered to clients from the borough of Bournemouth include the following:
• Sight and hearing resource shop with fully trained and experienced staff & volunteers. Information and advice is available on specialist equipment and are able to offer demonstrations, purchase and loan.

• Social and support club for people who are hard of hearing meets every second Wednesday of the month between 10.30am and 12 noon. Contact Jo Wood or Caroline Simmons on 01202 546644 or email or .



Bournemouth Tinnitus Association

East Cliff United Reform Church
Holdenhurst Road (opposite ASDA and Travel Interchange)
Tel: Jean on 01202 468480

Meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month between 2.15pm – 4pm (no meeting in August). Free parking on site and in ASDA car park for up to 2hrs.

Concern with Hearing – East Dorset

Mrs Pam Bend (Chairman)
Tel: 01202 572215

Provide an opportunity for those with hearing loss, who do not sign to meet and offer support and friendship. An Advocacy service is available and the group work to promote awareness those who are hard of hearing and the importance of lip reading.

Deaf Awareness Technology (DAT)

Denmark House
35 Denmark Road
Poole, Dorset
BH15 2DE
Tel: 01202 682795
Fax: 01202 682795

Specialists in Personal Sound Amplifiers, Loop Systems, Visual Alert Systems, Alarm Clocks, Smoke Alarms, and equipment for hearing impaired people. Installation technicians will call to install equipment across Dorset and Hampshire.


Dorset Blind Association

17 Bournemouth Road
Lower Parkstone
BH14 0EF
Tel: 01202 712860

Dorset Blind Association provides a resource centre for people who are visually or hearing impaired throughout Dorset. They offer advice, support, contacts, information and equipment, social opportunities across the county.

Dorset Deaf Children’s Society

A registered charity that organise social events, monetary grants and equipment for hearing impaired children and families throughout Dorset. Membership is free for all families or carers with a hearing impaired child living in Dorset For further details contact the local group Secretary Yvonne Hussain – 01202 518330, or the Treasurer Shirley Sorbie on 01202 5710879


Or contact the national organisation:

The National Deaf Children’s Society
15 Dufferin Street
London, EC1Y 8UR
Freephone Helpline: 0800 800 8880 (voice and text)
Minicom: 0800 800 8880
Fax: 020 7251 5020


Freephone Helpline is open: Monday – Thursday 9.30am – 9.30pm, Friday 9.30am – 5pm.


Poole Hard of Hearing Club

St James Church Hall
Church Street
BH14 0EF

A support club run by Dorset Blind Association, meets every first and third Tuesday of each month between 2pm – 4pm. For further details contact Helen Basson on 01929 481110.



Lip Reading and Communication classes

The following organisations are able to offer advice about where to find local Lip Reading, British Sign Language (BSL), and other communication classes.

ATLA – Association of Teachers of Lip-reading to Adults

c/o Hearing Concern LINK
27-28 The Waterfront
East Sussex
BN23 5UZ
Tel: 01323 638230

All ATLA listed classes are taught by ATLA-registered lip-reading teachers who have completed a recognised lip-reading teacher training course, subscribe to a code of ethics, and have agreed to maintain their professional development through networking and training days. Classes are available across the country.

Bournemouth Learning Centre

Bournemouth Adult Learning
Ensbury Avenue
BH10 4HG
Tel: 01202 451950
Fax: 01202 451989
Minicom: 01202 451982

A range of courses offered throughout the borough.


Poole Borough Council

Poole Adult Learning
Oakdale Centre
Wimborne Road
BH15 3DL
Tel: 01202 262300
Fax: 01202 262307
Minicom (for hearing impaired only) 01202 262320

Term time opening hours: 9am – 5pm and 6.15pm – 9pm Monday – Thursday.
9am – 4.30pm Friday.
Out of term time: 9am – 5pm Monday to Thursday.
9am – 4.30pm Friday.

Will have details of courses available in the local area.


Wiltshire & Dorset Deaf Association

WDDA (Admin)
25 Portman Road
Tel: 07793284109

WDDA have details of British Sign Language (BSL), Communication Technique, and Lip Reading classes held across the county. Also have details of local Deaf Clubs and Hard of Hearing Groups.

National organisations for deaf and hard of hearing

British Deaf Association – Head Office

18 Leather Lane
Admin Tel: 0207 405 0090 (email within website)

The BDA is a large Deaf organisation in the UK that is run by Deaf people. They represent the Sign Language community, which is united by shared experiences, history and, most importantly, British Sign Language (BSL).

British Telecom (BT)

BT offer a range of services and equipment for people who are hard of hearing, contact options are listed below:

General number: 0800 800 150 – Open Mon – Saturday 7.30am – 10pm, Sunday 9am – 6pm.
Textphone Users: 18001 0800 800 150 (calls to textphone numbers with prefix 18001 can only be made from textphones).

British Tinnitus Association

Ground Floor, Unit 5
Acorn Business Park
Woodseats Close
S8 0TB
Helpline: 0800 018 0527, Fax: 0114 258 2279

Provide information and advice about all aspects of living with Tinnitus.

Emergency Text Access

80999 text service for deaf people and speech impaired people who cannot use a voice telephone.
What is an emergency? When…
• Life is at risk

• Crime/trouble is happening now

• Someone is injured or threatened

• Person committing crime is near

• There is a fire or people trapped

• You need an ambulance urgently

• Someone is in trouble at sea

When texting the emergency controller please remember:
• What? What is the problem

• Which? Need police/ fire rescue/ ambulance/ coastguard

• Where? Give name of road and town. Plus details of: house number; postcode; or details of where incident is taking place.

Emergency Text Access is for emergencies in Dorset, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Wiltshire, Avon and Somerset, Devon and Cornwall.
Mobile text/SMS : 80999
Typetalk emergency text relay: 18000

Hearing LINK

27-28 The Waterfront
BN23 5UZ
Tel: 0300 111 1113
Fax: 01323 471260
Textphone: 01323 739998

Hearing Concern LINK is a charity for adults with acquired profound hearing loss, active in rehabilitation and training, campaigning and lobbying, research and community development.

Healthcall Optical and Hearing Services

Unit 5, Titan Court
Laporte Way

Local Office

Unit 3 & 4 Arena Business Centre
9 Nimrod Way
BH21 7SH
Tel: 0845 601 7241

Healthcall are also able to carry out hearing tests in your own home if you require one, for details and appointments for the hearing test contact 0845 644 5000.

Independent Hearing Services

323 New Road
BH22 8EJ
Tel: 01202 861522 / 874430

Independent Hearing Services supply hearing aids and accessories privately across the whole of Dorset. We offer a free home visit service totally without obligation.

NHS Direct

0845 4647 is NHS Direct’s textphone service for deaf people and those who are hard of hearing. NHS Direct is staffed by nurses and professional advisers giving confidential advice and information.

National Network for Deaf Students

The Saunderton Estate
Wycombe Road
HP14 4BF
Products and Services Tel: 0121 244 9051

Deafax specialise in creating unique, visual, interactive, deaf-friendly software and resources. These resources are then used as part of a workshop or training course. Our workshops are delivered in Schools, Colleges, Deaf Clubs, Universities, and Businesses around the UK, or can be accessed by logging on and attending one of our virtual online courses. Our highly qualified trainers can give their own personal experiences and acts as positive role-models for deaf-hearing working partnerships. There are a number of different resources and workshops available, some are free some you need to pay a small fee for but there is something for everyone.

RAD Legal Services

St John’s Centre
258 Green Lanes
N4 2HE
Tel: 0208 800 9682
Fax: 0208 809 5628
Text: 0208 809 5628

RAD Legal Services is a dedicated legal service providing specialist independent legal advice. Part of the Royal Association for Deaf People, a registered charity, our aim is to promote the welfare and interests of Deaf people (by which we mean deaf people whose first or preferred language is sign language). We are able to provide legal advice and representation for the following:

• Debt

• Welfare Benefits

• Employment

• Housing

• Immigration

• Consumer

• Family and matrimonial

• Discrimination

Action on Hearing Loss

19 – 23 Featherstone Street
Telephone: 0808 808 0123 (freephone)
Textphone: 0808 808 9000 (freephone)
Fax: 020 7296 8199

The Information Line is a free telephone or textphone service offering confidential and impartial information on a number of subjects including hearing aids, equipment, tinnitus, communication, employment, legislation and benefits. You can contact the Helpline free by telephone or textphone send an email, fax or letter. Please include your full postal
address if you would like printed information to be sent to you. A wide range of factsheet information and leaflets are available, subject areas include:

• Benefits and service – info about the various benefits and services you may be entitled to if you are deaf or hard of hearing.

• Communication – factsheets to tell you about the ways that deaf or hard of hearing people can communicate. Information available about communication products.

• Deaf awareness – factsheets about what it is like to be deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf blind.

• Employment – relevant factsheets about employment and working if you are a deaf or hard of hearing person. Information for employers also available.

• Equipment – factsheets about equipment for deaf or hard of hearing people ranging from alarm clocks to videophones. An equipment catalogue is also available.

• Healthcare – factsheets to help you understand a range of medical conditions and procedures. Information about looking after your hearing and what to do when flying.

• Hearing Aids – find out about hearing aids and audiology services, through the NHS and privately.

• Tinnitus – find out more about Tinnitus, and the drugs and therapies used to treat it. Advice about self-help techniques to manage the symptoms.

• Your rights – information about your legal rights as a deaf or hard of hearing employee and customer, employers and those who provide goods and services.

• The factsheets include guidance on the implications of the Disability Discrimination Act.

We are also able to put you in touch with professional British Sign Language (BSL)/ English interpreters, lip speakers, note takers, deafblind interpreters, and speech-to-text reporters.

Dual Sensory Loss

Many people experience a combined sight and hearing loss at varying levels and may be registered as deafblind. The Sight and Hearing Team will offer appropriate support and advice, and other organisations are able to offer counselling, guidance, support and advice.


Deafblind UK

National Centre for Deafblindness
John and Lucille van Geest Place
Cygnet Road
Tel: 01733 358100 (Admin – voice/text)
Fax: 01733 358356
Free helpline: 0800 132320

Deaf UK provides a unique free information and advice line service. An operator is at the end of the phone to give support and information to anyone who has a query about Deafblindness including family members, carers, healthcare professionals, and the general
public. The operators are specially trained are able to speak to deafblind members who use a variety of adapted equipment to access telecommunication systems. The Helpline offers information and advice, support and advocacy. There are also volunteer befrienders who are able to support deafblind members in the community.

Sense - for Deafblind people

101 Pentonville Road
N1 9LG
Tel: 0845 127 0066
Textphone: 0845 127 0066
Fax: 0845 127 0061

Sense is a national charity that supports and campaigns for children and adults who are deafblind. We provide expert advice and information as well as specialist services to deafblind people, their families, carers and professionals who work with them. We also
support people who have sensory impairments with additional disabilities. Information enquiries should be made to the office address above, requests for support or services will then be directed to a regional office. The regional office that covers Dorset is:


Communication guidelines with a person who is hard of hearing

• Look at the person face to face

• Do not shout, speak clearly

• Please be patient

• Make sure background noise is at a minimum

• If possible the light should be on your face to enable them to see you clearly

• Do not put your hand on your mouth, or obscure your face or mouth

• Speak slowly and distinctly

• If a sentence is not heard do not shout, try to re-phrase it

• Give the hard of hearing person time to understand what is said

Other useful information

Concessionary Travel – Bournemouth & Poole

The ‘Connect’ Concessionary Fare offers free local bus travel at off peak times in the Bournemouth and Poole areas for residents who have reached state pension age and over
or have certain disabilities. A Holder & Companion Card is also available for those who require a carer or companion to accompany them on buses. ‘Off peak travel’ enables you to travel after 9.30am until 11pm Monday to Friday, with unrestricted travel times at weekends and on Bank Holidays. This means you are unable to travel at the concessionary rate between 11pm and 9.29am Monday to Friday.

A ‘Connect’ Travelcard is available to permanent residents of Bournemouth & Poole if you have reached state pension age or over, or are below pensionable age, disabled and meet the following criteria:
• Registered blind or partially sighted

• Registered disabled

• Registered deaf

• Registered with Social Services as having a learning disability

• Refused a driving licence for medical reasons

• Receive the higher rate mobility component of Disability Living Allowance or War Pensioners Mobility Supplement

Pass Holder & Companion Connect Card

If you require a companion or carer to travel with you to enable you to use public transport, a Connect Travelcard can also be issued to enable your companion to travel free. Please ensure that a ‘Pass Holder & Companion Card’ is requested on your application form.

Connect Travelcard – Conditions of Use

The Travelcard allows the named holder (and companion if the card is so endorsed) bus travel at the concessionary rate indicated. The card is not transferable to other passengers.
The Travelcard is valid on all local bus services operating in the ‘Connect’ concessionary fares scheme area (Bournemouth & Poole) such as Yellow Buses, Wilts & Dorset Bus Company, More, Route One, First, South West Coaches, Shamrock, Damory Coaches,
Verwood Bus, and Roadliner. It is also valid on services outside this area provided the journey starts or finishes within the scheme area and no change of bus is required.


TV licensing and TV service companies

Free over 75 TV Licence – affecting aged 74 and over

When you reach the age of 75 you are entitled to a free over 75 TV Licence. You will be sent this licence every three years provided you have let TV Licensing know your National
Insurance number. This can be found on your Pension Book, Bank Statement (if your pension is paid straight into your bank). If you don’t have a National Insurance number please send a copy of one of the following documents as proof of age:
• Passport

• UK driving licence

• UK birth certificate

• National identity card

If you are currently aged 74 and your licence is due for renewal, you should buy a short-term licence. This will cover you up to your 75th birthday. For a free over 75 TV Licence or a short term licence contact 0300 790 6131 or apply online at

If you are already aged over 75, apply for your free over 75 TV Licence and you will be refunded for each full month after your 75th birthday. You will receive your refund when your over 75 TV Licence is issued.

TV Accessibility Services


If you have a hearing impairment

Subtitles: - Most programmes are subtitled on Freeview and the service is constantly changing. You can get subtitles on Freeview in one of two ways;

• Press the Subtitles button (may be shown as SUB) on the remote control of your set-top box or digital television.

• Press the Menu button, then follow the on-screen options until you reach options for language and subtitles.

For more information on subtitling contact the RNID on 0808 808 0123 or visit


If you have a hearing impairment

Subtitling – for deaf or hard of hearing people is the synchronised written representation of all elements of a film or television programme soundtrack, including dialogue, music and other sound effects. SKY moved to the provision of Re-Speaking using British Sign Language (BSL) for live subtitles in January 2006 and no longer use keyboards to create
live subtitles. SKY offer subtitles on all SKY channels and SKY Box Office movies, and are regulated under the 2003 Communications Act for the provision of subtitles.

Virgin Media

If you have a hearing impairment

Subtitles - Virgin TV have made it easier to access subtitles on Virgin TV. You simply need to press ‘Guide’ to bring up the mini guide then press the blue key on the remote control. This turns on subtitles for all channels. Follow the same process to turn the subtitles off again.
The same process also applies if you press the ‘Favorites’ button on the remote.
Subtitles can also be turned on and off by opening the ‘Settings’ menu. Press ‘Home’ on the remote control and select ‘settings’ (option 8). From the ‘Settings ‘menu, select
‘Change display and audio settings’ (option 4). The ‘Subtitles When Available’ option can be toggled between on and off. Press ‘OK’ to confirm the new settings and return to the previous menu.

Help & Care offer a range of services and factsheets to older people, carers, and disabled people across Dorset. If you would like to know more about our information and support services, Advocacy, and our Handiworks Plus services, or you would like a copy of this factsheet in your own language, large print, Braille, or on audio tape or compact disc please contact us on the details below.











This information has been researched and produced by Help and Care Carerslink and was believed to be correct at the time of production. Inclusion does not imply a recommendation by Help and Care.

Last IS Review July 2012. Next total review due July 2014.
Latest amendment added: May 2016

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