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It’s Deaf Awareness Week – How Can You Be More Deaf Aware?

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07/05/2024 00:00, In Blog /

This week, 6-12 May, is Deaf Awareness Week (DAW), an annual event that aims to raise awareness about the D/deaf community and their language, culture, and history. Deaf Awareness Week is a time to celebrate diversity, promote understanding, and work towards building a more accessible and inclusive world for all.

Approximately 12 million adults (RNID) and over 50,000 children (NDCS) in the UK are deaf or have hearing loss. Lack of awareness, including communication, is often cited as a major barrier for D/deaf people within society (NDCS). Within athletics, there are many simple things that you, whether that be an athlete, coach, official, parent or volunteer, can do to be more deaf aware and support communication with a D/deaf person.

Here are five top tips on how to be more deaf-aware in your environment:

  • Make sure you have the D/deaf persons attention, with eye contact, before giving information
  • Reduce background noise
  • Make sure the D/deaf person can see your face by taking steps such as reducing backlight
  • Be patient and rephrase if needed
  • Write information down clearly

While not all D/deaf people use or communicate with British Sign Language (BSL), it goes a long way to know a few phrases and keywords to facilitate communication with a D/deaf person. If you are keen to learn BSL, check your local area for accredited (Signature) courses and start your BSL journey! Here are some great downloadable deaf awareness resources and also check out our new athletics specific BSL Glossary video.