Deaf Awareness Week 2021
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Between 03-09 May 2021 is Deaf Awareness Week.
Deaf Awareness Week is a national event that aims to raise awareness of Deafness and hearing loss, faced by one-in-six people in the UK and the importance of inclusion and accessibility.
Derbyshire is known for having the highest number of Deaf or people with hearing loss living and working here than anywhere else in the country, proportionate to our population. Which is why it’s vital that we support our Deaf community.
This year, the Deaf Awareness Week theme is about ‘Coming Through it Together’, focusing on positivity and togetherness as we gradually emerge from lockdown.
We understand that during the pandemic, Deaf residents in our community have had even more challenges to overcome than others. With the wearing of masks mandatory in most spaces, we wanted to highlight a few communication tips below that can help to eliminate some of these problems.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind our Deaf community of the ways you can contact us in case of an emergency:
If you come across or are involved in an emergency, you can use your phone to text the emergency services for help. You must register your mobile phone number in order to use this service.
You can register by sending a text message to the number 999, with the word ‘Register’ and follow the simple instructions.
You can also visit emergencySMS website, where you will find more information about the service, including BSL videos.
We also have some resources that may be of use on our website highlighting:
- How you can use our services.
- Our Care Card Service for those that have difficulty in using a phone.
- A range of advice videos for Deaf or hard of hearing people on domestic abuse, how to look after your mental health and how to help those who are vulnerable in our society.
Deaf awareness communication tips
- Make sure you have the person’s attention before you start speaking.
- Maintain eye contact when communicating.
- Speak clearly, don't speak too quickly or too slowly.
- Don’t shout. It’s uncomfortable for hearing aid users and can appear aggressive.
- Avoid environments with excess noise and choose somewhere with good lighting.
- Speak one at a time, don’t talk over each other.
- Keep it clear, masks are now available with a clear panel so the mouth is visible at all times.
Be patient - if the person doesn’t understand you, don’t give up!
- Try not to keep repeating the same word, explain what your trying to say in differing ways.
- If speech isn't working, write it down or use a text message.
- Use an app - there are BSL mobile apps that can translate speech into text.