Thursday, 30 July 2015

‘Supporting people with sensory loss in welsh housing

Deaf, blind and deafblind people living in Wales should start getting more support from their housing provider, thanks to a new guide.

Working with four housing associations and local authorities across Wales, we've produced a guide for staff to ensure they are giving deaf, blind and deafblind tenants equal opportunity to live independent lives.

‘Supporting people with sensory loss: Best practice guide for housing providers’ has been produced following a year-long project, where people living across Wales were asked to tell their personal stories of finding, and living in, social housing.

21 people from Caerphilly, Ceredigion, Conwy and Pembrokeshire took part in the project, including Paul Clasby, who lives in a Tai Ceredigion property with his wife, son and guide dog. Paul said, “I am registered blind and in the last decade my sight has deteriorated so that I am unable to read any written text at all. Instead I use text-to-speech software, which can read electronic formats such as email to me. 

“Until taking part in this project, my landlord was still sending my letters in large print. Housing providers need to make sure they record the needs for their tenants, and keep that information up to date.

“I’d also like to see more landlords engaging with their deaf, blind, deafblind and disabled tenants, to ask them how best to improve their homes.”

Useful insight

All group members were invited to a meeting to tell their housing provider about their experiences. Cllr David Poole, Caerphilly Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Housing said, “It’s important to emphasise that as a council, we place the utmost importance on ensuring that our residents are able to communicate with us in the format that they choose. It remains the council’s policy that residents are able to receive information in any format – whether in braille, audio or in any language – and those who have requested it, regularly receive their correspondence in their format of choice”. “Some changes to be made to service provision are straightforward and can be achieved fairly quickly but will make a big difference to our tenants.

“Other changes are linked to longer term projects, such as tenant profiling, but the feedback from tenants has helped to highlight that we should consider how we address individual needs, particularly in terms of day to day communication and provision of information.

“Tenants involved have enjoyed being part of the project and have expressed interest in continuing to have an input into Caerphilly County Borough Council’s housing services.”

Deaf don't want special treatment. “Most of the guidance included in our document is simple to carry out, but will make all the difference; such as making a record of someone’s hearing loss and giving them alternative ways to get in touch, other than by telephone.


Welsh/Cymraeg

Byddar, dylai pobl ddall a fyddar ac yn ddall sy'n byw yng Nghymru yn dechrau cael mwy o gefnogaeth gan eu darparwr tai, diolch i arweiniad newydd.

Gan weithio gyda phedwar chymdeithasau tai ac awdurdodau lleol ar draws Cymru, rydym wedi cynhyrchu canllaw i staff i sicrhau eu bod yn rhoi fyddar, yn ddall a thenantiaid dall a byddar cyfle cyfartal i fyw bywydau annibynnol.

'Cefnogi pobl sydd wedi colli eu synhwyrau: Canllaw arfer gorau ar gyfer darparwyr tai' wedi cael ei gynhyrchu yn dilyn prosiect blwyddyn o hyd, lle gofynnwyd i bobl sy'n byw ledled Cymru i adrodd eu straeon personol o ddod o hyd, ac yn byw yn, tai cymdeithasol.

Cymerodd 21 o bobl o Gaerffili, Ceredigion, Conwy a Sir Benfro ran yn y prosiect, gan gynnwys Paul Clasby, sy'n byw mewn eiddo Tai Ceredigion gyda'i wraig, mab ac gi tywys. Dywedodd Paul, "Yr wyf yn cofrestru'n ddall ac yn y degawd diwethaf fy ngolwg wedi dirywio fel fy mod yn gallu darllen unrhyw destun ysgrifenedig o gwbl. Yn hytrach yr wyf yn defnyddio meddalwedd testun-i-leferydd, sy'n gallu darllen fformatau electronig megis e-bost i mi.

"Hyd nes gymryd rhan yn y prosiect hwn, fy landlord yn dal i anfon fy llythyrau mewn print bras. Mae angen i ddarparwyr tai i sicrhau eu bod yn cofnodi anghenion ar gyfer eu tenantiaid, ac yn cadw y wybodaeth yn gyfredol.

"Hoffwn hefyd weld mwy o landlordiaid ymgysylltu â'u fyddar, tenantiaid dall, byddar-ddall a phobl anabl, i ofyn iddynt beth yw'r ffordd orau i wella eu cartrefi."

Mewnwelediad defnyddiol

Gwahoddwyd pob aelod o'r grŵp i gyfarfod i ddweud wrth eu darparwr tai am eu profiadau. Dywedodd y Cynghorydd David Poole, Dirprwy Arweinydd Cyngor Caerffili ac Aelod Cabinet gyda chyfrifoldeb dros Dai, "Mae'n bwysig pwysleisio bod fel cyngor, rydym yn rhoi pwys mwyaf ar sicrhau bod ein trigolion yn gallu cyfathrebu â ni yn y ffurf y maent yn ei ddewis. Mae'n parhau i fod polisi'r Cyngor bod trigolion yn gallu derbyn gwybodaeth mewn unrhyw fformat - boed mewn braille, sain neu mewn unrhyw iaith - a'r rheini sydd wedi gofyn iddo, yn derbyn eu gohebiaeth yn rheolaidd ar eu ffurf o ddewis ". "Mae rhai newidiadau i'w gwneud i'r ddarpariaeth gwasanaethau yn syml a gellir ei gyflawni eithaf cyflym, ond bydd yn gwneud gwahaniaeth mawr i'n tenantiaid.

"Mae newidiadau eraill yn gysylltiedig â phrosiectau tymor hwy, megis proffilio tenantiaid, ond mae'r adborth gan denantiaid wedi helpu i dynnu sylw at y dylem ystyried sut yr ydym yn mynd i'r afael ag anghenion unigol, yn enwedig o ran cyfathrebu dydd a darparu gwybodaeth o ddydd i ddydd.

"Mae tenantiaid dan sylw wedi mwynhau bod yn rhan o'r prosiect ac wedi mynegi diddordeb mewn parhau i gael mewnbwn i'r gwasanaethau tai Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Caerffili."

Nid Byddar ddim eisiau triniaeth arbennig. "Mae'r rhan fwyaf o'r canllawiau a gynhwysir yn ein dogfen yn syml i'w cyflawni, ond bydd yn gwneud gwahaniaeth mawr; megis gwneud cofnod o colli clyw rhywun ac yn rhoi ffyrdd amgen i gysylltu, ac eithrio drwy ffôn iddynt.