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Help and support (8–18)

Photo: Get help and support for deaf young people

Want to ask a question or looking for advice? 

Our Helpline are here to help and happy to answer your questions. We have information and guidance on lots of different topics related to deafness.

We can support you with things like:

  • Becoming more independent
  • Making big decisions about your future
  • Understanding your rights in areas including education, employment and benefits.

We can refer you to our free support services, if you need extra help.

Contact our helpline

Our team of children and families support officers are based across the whole of the UK.

They can:

  • help you and your family with the important decisions you have to make as you get older
  • give you lots of information and support around education (school, college and university), benefits, getting the support you need to be independent and lots of other areas relating to deafness.

Children and families support officers will:

  • help you to find out as much information as possible about your concern
  • make sure that you and your family know your rights, understand what options are available to you and feel confident in making big decisions.
  • do what they can to make sure that your voice is heard and that you are given the opportunity to share your views
  • help to explain your views to other people who may be working with your family when you are finding this difficult yourself;
  • help you to understand things that you’ve been told about your deafness
  • talk to you about local services and support in your area.

To make sure they have all the right information about you, they may need to meeting with you to find out your views. This will make sure that we can provide the best support possible for you and ensure that other services know what you need.

Contact us

You can contact our Helpline who may be able to help you first, they can also refer you to a children and families support officer.

There are times when we might not be able to provide you with the right support you need. These are some organisations that might be able to help.

NSPCC is the UK's leading children's charity working to prevent child abuse. They provide lots of resources and advice on keeping safe as well as advice on bullying and cyberbullying, mental health and online safety. 

Childline's Deaf Zone has loads to offer deaf young people, including a range of BSL videos full of information and advice. There's also an online chat service available anytime you need it and the ability to use SignVideo (a video interpreting service) in order to get advice.

The Mix is there for young people aged 25 and under and can provide support on a whole range of issues, from sex and relationships to housing and money. They have a freephone number but also offer live chat online from 11am to 11pm every day.

Samaritans is there for you, whatever you're going through. They can be reached 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and can be reached by phone and e-mail. They also can be reached by Next Generation Text (NGT) service.

Brook is there for young people aged 25 and under and can provide support on sexual health and wellbeing. You can ask them a question any time of day via their online service.

Your Local Offer will tell you all about what's available where you live.

It brings together lots of information in one place, so it's easier to find out what local services and support are available for young people with special educational needs (SEN) and disabilities. These services include education, health and social care as well as social and leisure activities. 

Every local authority has a Local Offer website. To find yours, firstly you need to find out which local authority you live in. You can do this by visiting this website and typing in your postcode. Then you can use a search engine like Google to find your Local Offer. You can do this by typing in the name of your local authority and then 'Local Offer'. The first result should be your local authority's Local Offer and will take you to the Local Offer website.

If you have any difficulty finding your Local Offer, e-mail us or call our helpline on 0808 800 8880.

There will be loads of info on your Local Offer website like:

  • Schools
  • Support available at college (such as communication support workers or notetakers)
  • Support available if you are going to university (including information on money to help you- this is known as Disabled Students' Allowance (DSA))
  • Audiology services
  • Activities (such as sports clubs or youth groups that are deaf aware or have staff who use sign language)
  • Support available from social services (for example, you might be able to borrow flashing fire alarms or doorbells)
  • How to ask for an Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plan

If you can't find what you were looking for on the Local Offer website, it might be because the service doesn't exist or because the local authority hasn't included it. Either way you should let your local authority know. For information on how you can do this, send us an e-mail and we can give advice.

For more information on Local Offer, watch our video.