Date published: 02 May 2016
During Deaf Awareness Week (2-8 May 2016), national charity Action on Hearing Loss is urging people in the North West to become more deaf aware to ensure people who are deaf or have hearing loss are not being excluded from everyday interactions that their hearing peers are taking for granted.
One in six people (11 million) across the UK are currently living with hearing loss, with the number set to rise to one in five by 2035. However for many of them going to work, managing money at the bank, using public services and taking part in social occasions can still pose an unnecessary challenge.
Paul Breckell, Action on Hearing Loss chief executive said: “To mark Deaf Awareness Week this year the charity is running a social media campaign tearing up society’s assumptions and turning the spotlight on the incredible things deaf people and people with hearing loss definitely can do.
“What is clear is that with the right support available, hearing loss by itself is not preventing people from achieving their dreams and being equal members of society; the only barriers in their way are the ones that often stem from the simple lack of awareness around their communication needs.
“I would encourage all those living in the North West to follow the simple tips below to ensure that no one is excluded from everyday interactions and help us build a more equal society for all.”
The charity is promoting the following top communication tips:
- Make sure you have the person’s attention before you start speaking.
- Enquire about the person’s preferred method of communication.
- Chat in places with good lighting so that you can be lipread and where there is no background noise
- Face the person and speak clearly, using plain language, normal lip movements and facial expressions.
- Check whether the person understands what you are saying and, if not, try saying it in a different way – never say “don’t worry about it.”
- Keep your voice down as it’s uncomfortable for a hearing aid user if you shout – and it looks aggressive.
- Learn fingerspelling or some basic British Sign Language (BSL).
- If you are a business owner, check that simple equipment such as hearing loops, which amplify speech over noise, are in working order and that your staff have received deaf awareness training.
For more information or advice on hearing loss contact the Action on Hearing Loss Information Line on 0808 808 0123 or email email@example.com