Report: Open Meeting 28 January 2020

We enjoyed one of our best Open Meetings, with four outstanding, informative and inspirational presentations. As usual, attendees were able to enjoy a free buffet upon arrival, before sitting down for the presentations themselves.

Calderdale Council’s Services For People With Visual Impairments

The first presentation covered Calderdale Council’s Services For People With Visual Impairments. Sue Straw and Shannon Donaghue, Rehabilitation Officers for People with a Visual Impairments, shared information on the services that are available to people with sight impairments through Calderdale Council Services and the Glenholme Resource Centre. They explained how visual impairment is defined, how to get yourself registered at having a visual impairment and how they can provide you with a range of support and advice.

We videoed their presentation and have also produced a detailed “transcript” – Video & Transcript

Halifax Society for the Blind

Staying with the theme of visual impairment, our second presentation came from Angie Matthews and Barry Hill, from Halifax Society for the Blind. They spoke about the society, the work it does and some of the changes it is making to the way it operates.

Two years ago the organisation got funding to run a consultation to focus on the future to help support more people and make changes to improve the organisation and the support it provided. The outcomes have been quite far-reaching and further changes are planned.

Find out more detail in our video and edited transcript of their presentation – Video & Full Details

You can also read our report on the opening of their new Sight Centre, the week before – Report

Calderdale Council’s Services For People With Hearing Impairments

After the mid-session break, Michelle Gerrard, Calderdale Council’s Coordinator for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing services gave a talk about the services she offers. She has something of a dual role of assessing and providing equipment for people, whilst also promoting the deaf and hard of hearing within our communities.

She went through the referral process and then looked at some of the practical aids to everyday living that the council can provide. We have a video of her presentation, plus a detailed report including contact details you will need for the referral process or for attending one of her drop-in sessions – Video & Details

Access to Work – An introduction, by Trish Crowther

Our final presentation came from Trish Crowther, who works for the council and is a recipient of the “Access to Work” scheme. She explained how the system works and how is has affected her life. A recent move to a new office building, where the acoustics are poor, meant that she suddenly faced difficulties doing her job due to her hearing impairments. Happily, Trish has a supportive manager who knew about the Access to Work scheme and put her in touch with colleagues who knew a bit more about it. Trish explained the application process and demonstrated the equipment he received, which has changed her working life for the better. We have a video and detailed transcript of Trish’s presentation – Video & Details