We asked Lisa Duffield, a deaf person who we’ve been supporting at our supported living service in Ipswich for almost 10 years, to give us an insight into her day-to-day life. This is what she said.

My name is Lisa Duffield. I am 37, I have Usher syndrome and I am deaf.

I use British Sign Language and I lip read. I can hear some really loud noises, but I tend to sign because it’s easy to learn and all the staff can sign. I like sign language and I speak English very well.

Adjustments and misconceptions

When people come to our house, they have to use a special doorbell that flashes when you press it. We also use a minicom, which is like a telephone.

Sometimes people in town ignore me because I’m deaf and others say rude things because they think I don't understand. Some hearing people think that the deaf are stupid, but this is only because they are the ones who are not able to understand us. I see us deaf people as being really clever because we have to work twice as hard and focus more in order to understand and learn things.

Support to do the things I love

United Response have supported me to do all sorts of things, from giving me a place to live and helping me travel to teaching me money management and cooking, and letting me pursue my hobbies, like arts and crafts.

I love cooking Indian food and baking cakes, reading magazines, watching DVDs, learning about history and watching street dancing. I’m also keen on hip-hop music, but it has to be played very loud! I particularly like going to the Hand in Hand Club, where we use deaf-blind signing, because this makes me feel like I’m not the only one. I’ve made friends there.

My support worker, Tania, is hearing and really helpful. We support each other really. I have a very good relationship with all the staff and my life is a very happy one. I’m a lot more confident now because I know staff are on hand to help me make my life better.

Interested in our support?

If you want to learn more about our specialised deaf support and services, please email [email protected] or make an enquiry:

Make a support enquiry