Deaf woman’s council anger following Linlithgow to Bo’ness move

Carole Kemley from Bo'ness.
Carole Kemley from Bo'ness.

A deaf woman who recently moved from Linlithgow to Bo’ness has spoken of her frustration at the lack of support provided by the council.

Carole Kemley (40) is deaf and partially sighted. She has also been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and (PTSD). When she moved in June she no longer received the level of support she had from West Lothian Council under Falkirk Council’s care.

She said: “Previously, when I was under West Lothian authority I had a support worker from Deaf Action, providing support to go shopping, see a GP, dental and optician appointments and most importantly my psychology appointment at St John’s Hospital.

“I felt safe going with somebody that I knew who would know what to do if I get in a situation where I became panicky, anxious.

“I was shocked to discover that the systems used by the two local authorities were completely different. I now have no support worker to take me for my medical appointments, and I have been removed from the psychology support after being on a waiting list for nine months.

“I am stuck in this vicious circle, where my health is deteriorating, and I feel I’m being forgotten by society. Being unable to speak without the support of a British Sign Language interpreter I’ve become very mentally isolated.

“This is not acceptable, why am I being discriminated against from receiving support that I desperately need?

“I want my voice to be heard, not ignored. I am a human being with the same right as an able-bodied person.”

A Falkirk Council spokesman said: “We are unable to comment on specific cases, however our team at the Sensory Centre undertake a range of activities, including assessment, care and support planning and rehabilitation. We will provide services where there is a clear assessed need for them.

“A BSL interpreting service is available for all BSL users and is available through contacting the Sensory Centre.

“Should Ms Kemely feel that her needs have not been addressed we can arrange for a re-assessment.”