Our independent day service in Leeds is called Openspace. We aim to create a welcoming creative learning environment that supports Deaf adults with learning disabilities. We like to think of it as social therapy where people come to meet with friends, have a good time and learn a thing or two. Based in the Deaf Centre for Leeds makes it easier for us to integrate with the Deaf community.
The things we learn break down into three categories which we call:
Communication is at the heart of everything we do. Openspace is a place where everyone signs and all activities link back to sign language so we can all learn and develop our communication skills. This can be building on vocabulary or developing how to express yourself. We love to talk, we share, laugh and learn. Whether talking about the news, geography, seasonal events, food, health, friends, relationships, worries, hopes and dreams we are always signing.
Everyone can find ways to practice or develop their independence. For some that may be stirring a pot, helping to measure ingredients or planning a meal. For others it can be learning more about personal finances and preparing to make the big move to live in their own home. We will assess someone’s current skills, their potential and their personal aims to help work out what areas of independence we can support and develop.
We aren’t a school, we aren’t qualified teachers and we don’t offer formal qualifications but that doesn’t stop us from helping people to learn. For some that is learning about emotions and feelings, others want to learn how to use a computer and access the internet safely. We like to learn about the world around us, celebrations and festivals. We discuss the news and fill in any gaps in peoples knowledge. We use a combination of experience, discussion art and crafts
A Community Interest Company serving the communication and cultural needs of deaf people