Sussex Deaf Association was founded in 1912 to provide spiritual and social welfare
for deaf people in Sussex by the Diocese of Chichester. In 1995, SDA became an independent
organisation in its own right although The Lord Bishop of Chichester remains our
Until September 2007 for around 50 years, the Association provided a base in Hastings
were a specially built chapel was provided. During that time the chapel had beautiful
stained glass windows, one of which depicted signing hands. Unfortunately due to
vandalism and a shortage of funding in the immediate area to keep the building going
it was decided that the building is to be sold. Again in April 2009, the decision
was taken to close our office in Worthing after 5 years due to funding restrictions
in the West Sussex area.
The Headquarters and offices have been based in Brighton since the Association began.
Firstly at Dyke Road until 1949, St Stephens Church in Montpelier Place 1950-1981,
Carlton Hill 1982-2015. From April 2016, we are permanently based in Whitehawk in
Brighton which operates as our Head Office and continues to provide our Community
Support, Information & Facility Service today.
Other notable facts; During April 2012 the Association celebrated its centenary in
Brighton with other smaller celebrations at Bexhill in May and Worthing in June that
Our venues and outreach support continue in Brighton, Bexhill, Eastbourne, and Hastings.
Facilities are provided for social activities and include Leisure, Social Clubs and
Darby & Joan Groups.
The Association continues to support Church Services in Sussex and are conducted
in both Sign Language and speech. Services are held at churches in Brighton, Crawley,
and Burgess Hill, to name a few.
The staff currently consists of a Charity Manager, three part time Community Support
Workers, one Support Worker, one part time clerical worker and several local volunteers
some full time and part time, who kindly give up their time to help in the community
and with the various Clubs for the Deaf & Deaf Blind. The Social Clubs have a long
affiliation to SDA and are managed by deaf members and cover a wide range of interests.
Frequent reciprocal visits are made to other deaf clubs in the country.
An Executive Committee has overall responsibility of the charities management, services
and activities. 40% of our Committee is deaf service user led of which is vitally
important as they represent many users who do not have the confidence to speak up.
The members work hard to help the Association maintain it’s care of the deaf and
deafblind people in Sussex.
In order to help fund the work, the Association makes three annual appeals. One is
the Ephphatha Appeal, which goes to all the parishes in the diocese. A Christmas
& Summer Appeal is sent out to our regular subscribers and other interested parties.
The offices in Brighton are open Mon-Thurs 9.30am – 5.00pm and Fridays 9.30am-3.45pm.
We operate a Community Support & Information Service throughout the different venues
during the week; supporting; Housing, Welfare Benefits, Debt/Finance, Social Inclusion
and Disability Health & Wellbeing. The Association also runs Basic British Sign Language
across Sussex and gives talks and training on Deaf Awareness to local agencies, schools,
companies and other service providers.
Photos from the past
BSL Stained Glass Windows which were present in the chapel at Hastings Deaf Centre