Each year, Deaf Awareness Week focuses on a theme. In 2022, the national campaign will focus on children and young people who are living with hearing loss and deafness. Using the #MyDeafStory hashtag on social media, the National Deaf Children’s Society will be sharing inspiring stories from youngsters across the UK.
Find out more about the campaign here.
In the UK, there are over 10 million people living with some form of hearing loss. Deaf Awareness Week aims to promote the positive aspects of living with deafness, as well as raising awareness of the isolation that some deaf people can experience. The event also promotes the use of British Sign Language (BSL), which is currently the subject of a government Bill to become a legally recognised language in England, Scotland and Wales.
Because deafness is a hidden disability, it’s common for people to make incorrect assumptions about those who are living with hearing loss. People who are deaf or have hearing loss usually have personal communication needs so it’s recommended that you ask them about the best ways to speak with them. Here are a few tips to consider:
• Make sure that you’re facing the person you are talking to and speak clearly
• Avoid shouting, speaking too fast or too slow
• If they are unable to understand, repeat it or rephrase it using plain language
• If you’re in a noisy environment, move to a quieter space
• Use simple hand gestures to attracts someone’s attention
• Write things down on paper or a device so that they can follow your conversation
It’s important to remember that many people who usually rely on facial expressions and lip-reading are finding communication especially difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic, when mask-wearing has been commonplace.
While some people are born with hearing loss, others may develop it later in life. This can be due to underlying health issues, exposure to loud noises or simply getting older. Here are some symptoms to look out for:
• Difficulty hearing other people clearly or misunderstanding what they say
• Avoiding noisy places because it’s difficult to hear conversations
• Feeling depressed or isolated due to avoiding some social situations
• Listening to music or watching TV at an unusually high volume
• Having to work hard to hear what people are saying, leaving you feeling tired
If you feel that any of these circumstances apply to you, we would recommend booking a hearing test so that your level of hearing loss can be assessed and a suitable solution can be offered to assistant with your health and well-being.
Find out more about our hearing assessments and treatments at here or call us on 01223 661399.