Deaf Awareness Week is an annual event in the UK which will next take place from May 2-8.
It is organised by the UK Council on Deafness and the theme for 2022 is Deaf Inclusion.
The aim of the campaign is to highlight the impact of hearing loss on everyday life and increase visibility and inclusion of deaf people.
Each year it focuses on a theme. In 2020 it aimed to raise awareness of acquired deafness, when people lose their hearing during their life, rather than being born with hearing loss or deafness.
In the UK there are more than 10 million people living with some form of hearing loss, whether it is mild or profound.
Deaf Awareness Week is all about promoting the positive aspects of living with deafness. This event aims to raise awareness of the isolation that deaf people can occasionally experience and promotes the importance of social inclusion around the deaf community.
The UK Council on Deafness wants to celebrate all of the amazing local organisations around the UK that support deaf people and their families and friends during Deaf Awareness Week.
Five deaf awareness facts
1. Hearing loss and deafness is defined as a hidden disability.
2. As well as British Sign Language, there are international sign languages including American Sign Language and French Sign Language.
3. Within the UK, there are regional variations of BSL just like there are with spoken language.
4. Lip-reading helps deaf people to understand what others are saying, but even the best lip-readers still miss up to 40% of what has been said.
5. The Royal College of Speech & Language Therapists highlighted that the rise in the use of face masks due to the Covid-19 pandemic makes it harder for people with hearing loss to communicate. Face coverings with a transparent panel over the mouth have now been created.
How to be more deaf aware
- Make sure you have the person’s attention before you start speaking
- Stand or sit in a place with good lighting so you can be lip-read
- Try to find a quiet place with little background noise as this can be distracting
- Use your usual voice level. If a deaf person uses a hearing aid it can be very uncomfortable for them and can seem as though you are shouting
For more information about Deaf Awareness Week click here.