Servicing the Deaf and HoH community

By Indi Fillery

Brand Engagement Officer

Therapy Focus and Access Plus WA Deaf have joined forces to better support the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (HoH) community.

Access Plus provide Auslan interpreting, training and support services for people who are Deaf and HoH, while Therapy Focus offers comprehensive therapy services for people living with disability.

In an effort to provide a more holistic service, Access Plus reached out to Therapy Focus to work collaboratively in supporting Deaf and HoH customers. Therapy Focus Senior Manager, Caoibhe Flynn said that by working together both organisations could achieve great outcomes.

“We were very keen to work with Access Plus when they approached us,” Caoibhe said.

“Working together has been beneficial for both organisations, as we are able to provide therapy services for Access Plus customers, and our therapists are able to easily access Auslan interpreters when needed.”

One customer who has benefited from the partnership is Jason. Jason owns a successful upholstering business, loves boating and is Deaf. Jason’s Support Coordinator at Access Plus referred him to Therapy Focus for support in accessing assistive technology and equipment that would make day-to-day tasks a little easier.

Therapy Focus Occupational Therapist, Aleysha Parker met with Jason alongside an Access Plus interpreter to better understand Jason’s needs and clearly communicate the support she could provide.

Jason sits at his dining table with Aleysha and the Auslan interpreter. Jason is facing away from the camera. Aleysha and the interpreter are smiling. Pictured: Auslan Interpreter from Access Plus, Aleysha Parker and Jason.

“For Jason, day-to-day tasks like answering the door or his phone, or responding to a smoke alarm is obviously quite difficult, as he can’t hear when they ring,” Aleysha said.

“Similarly, he can’t hear or respond to reports on his boat radio, which makes his love of boating very dangerous in changing weather conditions.”

“With interpreting and translating support, we were able to discuss the importance of assistive technologies such as alert systems for people who are Deaf or HoH, and how we could go about sourcing items for Jason.”

Working closely with Access Plus has enabled Aleysha and other therapists at Therapy Focus to better support the Deaf and HoH community – particularly those who use Auslan to communicate.

Jason faces Aleysha and engages in ASL. Aleysha is facing away from the camera. Pictured: Jason and Aleysha.

“As someone who is not fluent in Auslan, it can be very difficult to communicate with people who are Deaf or HoH,” Aleysha said.

“Having an interpreter available at appointments enables clear communication and helps me provide people with the supports they need to live their best life.”

“Access Plus interpreters have great relationships with their clients and people within the Deaf and HoH community, which helps ensure appointments are comfortable for everyone involved. It’s been fantastic working alongside the Access Plus team.”

For more information about Access Plus and their range of services, visit accessplus.org.au.

How can an occupational therapist help?

Our occupational therapists help children and adults with disability participate in everyday life.