It’s national Deaf Awareness Week this week (4th to 10th May). The aim of the week is to raise awareness of the deafness and hearing loss faced by 1 in 6 people in the UK, and the importance of embracing language, recognising challenges, and the culture of deafness.
Here at Nottingham College, we have a specialist Deaf Access team, who support students and also promote deaf awareness across the College.
There are more than 10 million people in the UK who have some hearing loss, By 2035, it is estimated that there will be 15.6 million people with hearing loss in the UK — that’s one in five.
So, our Deaf Access team are encouraging staff and students to take this opportunity to learn a bit more about deafness, and maybe even take few minutes to learn a bit of basic British Sign Language.
Here is the BSL Fingerspelling Alphabet, Can you work out what the letters below it are saying?
How can I learn more?
The National Deaf Children’s Society has lots of useful information, including this interesting article about what deafness is.
If you’d like to make it easier for someone with deafness or hearing loss to communicate, but you aren’t sure how, there are some simple things you can do. The National Deaf Childrens Society has resources to help you.
For example, for many people it can help if you speak clearly and face the person when you’re talking to them. However, everyone is different, so don’t be afraid to ask the person what might help. Check out this communication resource for more ideas.
The UK Council on Deafness are the main organisers of the week, and they’ve shared these handy tips.
The UK Council on Deafness have these tips for when you meet a deaf person:
- Face the person while you are speaking, don’t turn away
- Speak clearly without shouting
- Repeat yourself if necessary
- Never say ‘It doesn’t matter’
- If the person doesn’t understand you, don’t give up!
- Write it down or draw a picture
- Speak one at a time, don’t talk over each other
- Keep your mouth visible
- Smile and relax
- Don’t speak too quickly or too slowly
Our current students can find out more about how to access support on our student intranet.
If you’re thinking of applying to study at Nottingham College, we’re here to help and support you too!
Note: the answer to the finger spelling clue was ‘stay safe’.