Deaf Awareness Week, 1 to 7 May 2023
The theme for Deaf Awareness Week 2023 is Access to Communication. The aim is to raise awareness about the communication challenges faced by deaf people and promote better access to communication tools and services.
There are approximately 11 million people with hearing loss across the UK, that is around one in six people.
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! Try 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 with hearing loss 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 are able to focus on the speakers and/or discussions at the meeting.
- For online meetings use the following facilities in Zoom and Google Hangouts :
- recording (with attendees permission). This gives attendees the chance to go back and review and/or check some of the content
- Chat functions
- See the University’s:
- good practice guide to assist individuals with hearing loss
- list of meeting rooms on campus that have hearing loops installed.
Support for students who have hearing loss
Students with hearing loss can contact Disability Services for advice on what support is available to them.
Supporting students who have hearing loss
See useful guidance if you are a member of staff: Supporting students who are Deaf or hearing impaired students
Sources of information
- UK Council for Deafness
- RNID - Dear Awareness tips
- Limping Chicken - Tips for working remotely when you're deaf
- AbilityNet Factsheet - Hearing Loss and Computing