Self-Directed Support

Available in the following locations:
  • National

Self-Directed Support (SDS) is the support a person purchases or arranges to meet agreed health and social care outcomes. This is usually done following an assessment of needs from their local authority/specialist social work service.

This support can be directed in 1 of 4 different ways:

Option 1 – The person can receive money from the local authority to pay for the support. This is known as a Direct Payment.

Option 2 – The person will take control of their support plan, but responsibility for managing the budget will be given to a third party. The third party is chosen by the person, but will need to be approved by the local authority first.

Option 3 – The local authority can arrange and manage the support.

Option 4 – A mix of the first 3 options.

In most cases, the person will have a financial assessment through their local authority to see whether they will need to pay anything towards their support. This should all be explained by the local authority either before or during an assessment of needs. It is an important thing to remember and to share with someone you know is due to be assessed, especially if it is their first time.

To find out more, contact your local authority Social Work department or click on our Social Work section on the website to see whether our Social Work Team covers your area.

The Self-Directed Support Joint Sensory Project

Deaf Action are working in partnership with Fife Society for the Blind on a project that will improve access to information and support for SDS in Scotland for people who experience Sensory Loss – including people who are deaf BSL users, deafened, deafblind, hard of hearing, blind or with serious sight loss.

We have been granted funding by the Scottish Government until March 2018 to cover the period from March 2015 to March 2018, but we aim to leave a legacy whose impact will be felt far beyond the life of the project.

Accessible Information

Having information in the appropriate format allows people to access information without needing to ask a friend/family member/other person for assistance. One of the key messages with SDS is the idea of “taking control” and we believe that accessible information should be one of the first things to be addressed by local authorities, independent support providers, Scottish Government and anyone else who is putting together information that is to be released to the public, or to anyone who may require information in an alternative format.

For this reason, we have created a Guide to Accessible Formats that you can download for free via our website. The guide contains information about different formats for people with sensory loss:

  • Braille
  • Large Print
  • Audio-description/Screen Readers
  • British Sign Language

The aim of the guide is to raise awareness about each of the formats, and provide ways in which you can make documents and information more accessible, such as:

  • Tips for preparing a document for transcription into Braille;
  • Rules around the size, style and formatting for Large Print documents;
  • Appropriate labelling and use of plain text when sending documents to someone to access via a Screen Reader.
  • How to book a British Sign Language Interpreter and work with them effectively.

The Self-Directed Support Joint Sensory Project also has a remit to translate and transcribe information released by the Scottish Government and other national projects about Self-Directed Support. If you feel this applies to you then please get in touch for a discussion with the Project Coordinator and Multimedia Team. If it does not apply to you, but you would like to talk about options for making your documents accessible for sensory loss then we would be happy to speak to you and see how we can help you.

Peer Volunteers

The people volunteering with the Self-Directed Support Joint Sensory Project are referred to as “Peer Volunteers”. They are people who have differing degrees of sensory loss and can share their lived experience with other volunteers; people in the community; local authority staff; and others who also have sensory loss and would like to know more about how SDS works, and can be accessed when taking the sensory loss into consideration.

The Peer Volunteers help in a number of different ways, such as:

  • Providing Sensory Awareness sessions to local authority staff, and independent support providers.
  • Developing a free-to-access bank of online Sensory Awareness materials to use as part of training sessions and to improve sensory awareness of the wider public.
  • Learn how to use different forms of accessible technology to apply to their daily living, and to share their learning with other people.
  • Link with their local authority, independent support provider, or local community groups to provide consultation around access for people with sensory loss, or to raise awareness of issues facing people with sensory loss.

If you would like to become a Peer Volunteer then please get in touch with the Project Coordinator. It does not matter where in Scotland you live as this is a national project, so it is not limited to those areas serviced by Deaf Action and Fife Society for the Blind.

If you are in a local authority or an independent support provider and would like to invite a volunteer along to present at an event; join a group; provide some training; or become more actively linked with your services then please get in touch and we will link you with a suitable volunteer.

Raising Awareness about Sensory Loss

The Peer Volunteers are involved in creating new content about Sensory Awareness, and this will be shared on our social media channels. The channels are all free-to-access, so please click the links listed on this page and if you are an account holder with any of the social media channels that we are using then please log in and subscribe/follow/like/comment on our posts so that we know the information we are creating is being accessed. We also welcome comments and suggestions about current and future content, and if you would like to create a response to anything we post, for example, a recorded podcast response about specialist equipment for sight loss, then that would be excellent.

Our content will grow to include interviews with people who work in specialist professions linked to sensory loss, such as the Deaf Action Social Work Team and the Sight Support Team at Fife Society for the Blind. This is to share information about how these jobs work and the kind of support that they offer people with sensory loss, especially in relation to SDS and supporting independent living.

If you are a person in this kind of position and would like to share some information or meet to discuss this then please get in touch and we will arrange to meet.

Social Media Channels

Useful Links

We have included links to useful information, support, and other services in order to improve access to information and support for SDS, and more generally for sensory loss in Scotland. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it will give you a starting point to find out more about SDS.

Self-Directed Support Joint Sensory Project Contact Details

If you would like to contact us for access to any part of the project as described above, then please use any of the following options:

Post: Glyn Thompson, Deaf Action, 49 Albany Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3QY
Telephone: 01592 200 288 (Fife Office); 0131 556 3128 (Edinburgh)
Mobile: 07795 338 222 (voice and text accepted)
: @SensorySDS