Deaf Awareness Week 2020 (4 - 10 May)

News | Posted on Monday 4 May 2020

There are 12 million people with hearing loss across the UK, that's around one in six.

The Deaf awareness week logo, and a green banner reading Celebrating Diversity.

Deaf Awareness Week aims to promote the positive aspects of deafness, promote social inclusion and raise awareness of the huge range of local organisations that support deaf people and their family and friends. The theme for 2020 is ‘acquired deafness’.

When you meet a deaf person

  • Make sure you have the person’s attention before you start speaking
  • If possible, find a place to talk that has good lighting, away from noise and distractions
  • Face the person while you are speaking, don’t turn away
  • Speak clearly without shouting and not too slowly, and use normal lip movements, facial expressions and gestures
  • Use plain language and don’t waffle
  • Repeat yourself if necessary
  • Never say ‘It doesn’t matter’
  • If the person doesn’t understand you, don’t give up! Trying saying it in a different way
  • Write it down or draw a picture
  • Speak one at a time, don’t talk over each other
  • Keep your mouth visible: don’t look away while speaking or cover your mouth with your hands
  • Smile and relax
  • Don’t speak too quickly or too slowly
  • Please use gestures
  • If the person uses a sign language interpreter, always remember to talk directly to the person you are communicating with, not the interpreter.

Ways to support a member of staff in the workplace

  • Position the member of staff with hearing loss in a work area that has good acoustics and where they can see the rest of the room
  • Adjust the layout of a meeting room and use good lighting to help everybody see each other clearly, which is important for lipreading
  • If you play music in your workplace, either turn this off or down
  • Provide meeting papers in advance as this will help the member of staff prepare so they focus on the speakers and/or discussions at the meeting
  • For online meetings use the following facilities in Zoom and Google Meet:
    - recording (with attendees permission). This gives attendees the chance to go back and review and/or check some of the content
    - Captioning
    - Chat functions
  • See the University’s:
    good practice guide to assist individuals with hearing loss in meetings
    - list of meeting rooms on campus that have hearing loops installed.

Sources of information

Contact us

Equality and Diversity Office
+44 (0)1904 324680

Support for staff

Contact us

Equality and Diversity Office
+44 (0)1904 324680