Deaf Awareness Week - Communication tips
This Deaf Awareness Week, we're sharing simple communication tips that will help you communicate more clearly with someone who is deaf, in particular someone who has lost their hearing, maybe through illness or age.
We'd like to encourage businesses, individuals and groups to consider how they could become more deaf aware by making these simple and no-cost changes to the way they communicate.
Deafness is often hidden and can have a devastating impact on a person’s physical and mental wellbeing. The underlying barriers faced include communication, access to information and a lack of deaf awareness in wider society. This leads to an increased risk of social isolation and an associated risk of developing poor mental health as deaf people are twice as likely to experience poor mental health compared to hearing people.
We're living in unprecedented times and the sense of isolation is being felt by everyone, no matter their level of hearing. We're all feeling uncertain and concerned about what the future holds.
Now imagine being someone who is living with deafness, who before all this COVID-19 situation began, was already living on the brink of isolation and loneliness because the society around them isn't deaf aware enough to make their services, conversations and information accessible.
Imagine how incredibly isolating life must feel now.
So, what we can we all do?
The truth is, simple changes to the way we communicate will help reduce the risk of excluding a person living with deafness out of the conversation. From considering where we position ourselves when we're talking to making sure only one person is talking at a time - those small changes will help make sure they are included.
Please do take a look at the communication tips we've put together and have a go the next time you're speaking to someone living with deafness.