Deaf Awareness Week
This week is Deaf Awareness Week – an initiative that aims to promote social inclusion and highlight the positive aspects of deafness.
1 in 6 people are affected by hearing loss, and in the UK, more than 2 million people have hearing aids. It’s especially common as we age; 41% of over 50s have some form of hearing loss.
Communication barriers as a result of deafness can be isolating for sufferers – lack of confidence, exclusion from society, depression and unemployment are all common challenges.
Deaf Awareness Week is an opportunity for people to learn more about how to better support those with hearing loss.
Be deaf aware
There’s plenty you can do to support deaf people in your community and help them feel included at work and in social situations. Here’s some simple pointers to remember:
- Get their attention – Make sure you have the attention of the person before you start speaking to them. Otherwise, they may not catch what you’re saying.
- Choose the right setting – The best place for communication is one with good lighting and as little background noise as possible to hear and understand the conversation.
- Use plain language – Plain language, normal lip movements and facial expressions make it easier for a person who’s deaf to understand you. Speak slowly and in a straightforward way.
- Watch your volume – Shouting can be uncomfortable for hearing aid users. Speak at a regular volume instead.
- Check they understand – Make sure you check the person understands what you’re saying. If not, try saying it again or in a different way. Never say ‘don’t worry about it’ or dismiss the conversation – this can make them feel excluded and isolated.
Try British Sign Language
In addition to speech and lipreading, many deaf people also rely on British Sign Language to communicate. It’s a combination of hand shapes and movements, facial expressions, shoulder movements and lip patterns.
If you’re interested in learning, you can find great resources online through the charity British Sign.
Are you deaf or struggle with hearing loss? Share your experiences in the comments below.
Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor
Latest posts by Rachel - Silversurfers Assistant Editor (see all)
- Stream the National Theatre free every Thursday - March 27, 2020
- The best of Diana Ross - March 25, 2020
- The best tech to help you stay connected with family and friends - March 24, 2020
- The British Invasion Quiz - March 24, 2020
- Brilliant box sets to get stuck into this spring - March 23, 2020
Leave a Comment!
Community Terms & Conditions
These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.
You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.
be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.
Contributions must not:
contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.
Nurturing a safe environment
Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.
We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!