This week (3-9 May) is Deaf Awareness Week, and this year’s theme is ‘Coming Through it Together’.
12 million people in the UK are living with some form of hearing loss. That’s 1 in 5 of the UK population. Deaf Awareness Week aims to promote the positive aspects of living with deafness.
The definition of D/deafness covers D/deaf, D/deafblind, D/deafened and hard of hearing, including those with hearing loss.
People who are D/deaf or have a hearing loss can occasionally experience feelings of loneliness or isolation, through communication and language barriers, which is why we want to emphasise the importance of social inclusion within the D/deaf community.
Here are just some ways we can support our D/deaf colleagues:
- raise awareness of BSL (British Sign Language), which is a language used by many people in the UK who are deaf or have a hearing impairment. Watch our BSL webinar hosted by Pauline Alderton of #TeamWJ on the WJ Hub.
- use a clear mask to make it easier for those who lip-read
- use closed captions on Teams calls
- avoid using ableist language such as ‘are you deaf?’ – be mindful of what you might consider to be harmless banter
- listen to people with lived experience and ask them how you can make your team/workplace/organisation more inclusive