#DeafAwarenessWeek #DAW #DAW2018
There are over 11 million people in the UK who have some hearing loss – that’s 1 in 6 people.
There are many different types of hearing loss of course, and no two people will experience it the same way. People whose first language is British Sign Language (BSL) may choose to describe themselves as Deaf, with a capital D, and as part of the Deaf community. Other people who have become severely or profoundly deaf later may refer to themselves as deafened, and the term hard of hearing usually covers the whole range of hearing loss.
Get to know your Deaf, deafened and hard of hearing visitors and co-workers a bit more. Invite any local groups to come in and visit you. Make sure to book an interpreter too and then open up the floor to find out what everyone would like to see happen in your venue, or organisation, that could make you more accessible, or what events people would like to be interpreted or captioned.
Make a plan to provide some useful BSL training for your front-line staff or sign up for some Deaf Awareness Training.
Give a little love to your induction loop or other hearing enhancement system! Pledge this week to check it works properly! Make sure your whole team understand how it works and how to advise your visitors.
Make a plan to start offering Captioned and BSL Interpreted events, or the company conference – remember though, Captioning and BSL Interpreting are two different things. Not everyone who is Deaf can access captions and may instead require the event to be BSL interpreted – just as someone who is hard of hearing may not understand BSL and will require captions instead.
Is there a local lip-reading group in your area? If so, perhaps they’d like to try somewhere new for their meeting, such as your café or bar. Find out in advance what they might need in terms of lighting and background noise reduction. Once they’re with you it could be an opportunity to talk about the other services or facilities you offer.
Provide Captioning and BSL interpreting on your in-house adverts. Why not look into having your what’s on guides, season brochures and company newsletters BSL interpreted too and host the videos on your website or your social media platforms.
What about holding a Sign café like this coffee shop in London Other coffee shops are available!) : https://news.starbucks.com/news/starbucks-uk-we-sign-cafe
Fundraising always helps to raise awareness, and gives everyone a chance to get involved. From cake sales to sponsored events, Action on Hearing Loss can help you with ideas, as well as a whole host of other Deaf and hard of hearing related organisations: