Deaf Awareness Week - 6-12 May 2024

News | Posted on Friday 3 May 2024

There are approximately 12 million people with hearing loss across the UK. The theme for Deaf Awareness Week 2024 is Celebrating Love and Trust. The aim is to raise awareness about the communication challenges faced by deaf people and promote better access to communication tools and services.

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 differently, 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.
  • 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 lip-reading.
  • 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
    • Captioning
    • Chat functions
  • See the University’s:

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


“My ears don't work, but the little grey cells are firing well on all pistons” the journey of a deaf immunologist. Allison is a Professor of Immunology in Hull York Medical School. Allison has been profoundly deaf since childhood, and was recently profiled by the British Society of Immunology. Read Allison's journey that highlights the challenges that deaf scientists face.

Sources of information

Support for students

Support for staff:

Contact us

Equality and Diversity Office
+44 (0)1904 324680

Contact us

Equality and Diversity Office
+44 (0)1904 324680