This week, 6th-12th May is Deaf Awareness Week, coordinated by the UK Council on Deafness, the umbrella body for voluntary organisations working with deaf people in the UK, bringing together over 100 deaf charities and organisations.
The aim of this unique awareness campaign is to promote and celebrate the positive attitudes to deafness, seek social inclusion and raise awareness of the huge range of companies and organisations that champion greater deafness awareness.
1 in 6 people in the UK are deaf or hard of hearing, and more than 45,000 children in the UK are deaf. There are around 2 million people in the UK who have hearing aids, and nearly 3.7 million people of working age have hearing loss, 135,000 of which are severely or profoundly deaf.
Deaf or hard of hearing adults and children face communication barriers which can cause lack of confidence, depression, isolation and social exclusion.
Being deaf or hard of hearing is not a visible disability, and is very often overlooked, and the aim of the campaign is to highlight the positive outcomes of being deaf aware, and how involvement, not simply throughout next week, but on a daily basis, can help to improve people’s understanding of all types of deafness and give support to those people and their families.
If you meet a deaf person, remember to:
• Face the person while you are speaking, don’t turn away.
• Talk clearly without shouting
• Repeat yourself if necessary
• Never say “it doesn’t matter”
• If the person doesn’t understand you, don’t give up!
• Write it down or draw a picture.
By Personal Injury Partner, Kate Sweeney