Deaf Awareness Week is an annual event. The focus of the week is to raise awareness of deafness and hearing loss; celebrating exceptional individuals, and showcasing what you can do to champion inclusivity and be more deaf-friendly.
The theme this year is "Access to Communication"; promoting greater awareness and understanding of the challenges faced by the deaf community in accessing communication. The theme highlights the need for breaking down the communication barriers that prevent deaf people from fully participating in society.
The deaf community often faces significant barriers to communication, which can lead to social isolation, limited employment opportunities, and reduced access to essential services. These barriers can include a lack of access to sign language interpreters, limited captioning and subtitling in videos and online content, and a general lack of awareness of the communication needs of deaf individuals.
To address these issues, this year’s Deaf Awareness Week will focus on raising awareness of the communication needs of the deaf community and advocating for greater access to communication tools and services. It will encourage individuals, organisations, and governments to work together to create a more inclusive society where deaf individuals have the same access to communication as their hearing counterparts.
Through education, awareness-raising, and advocacy, we can break down the communication barriers that prevent deaf people from participating fully in society. Let’s work together to create a world where access to communication is a fundamental human right for everyone, regardless of their hearing ability.
Every deaf child or young person is different. Levels of hearing loss, communication methods and use of hearing technology can vary widely. It’s important to remember this and find out what everyone’s individual needs are so you can make sure everyone is included in whatever you are doing together.
Whether you’re a parent, relative or you work with deaf children and young people, there’s lots of simple things you can do to be more deaf-friendly – and the National Deaf Children's Society has got tips and resources to help you. There are lots of ways to chat … probably more than you think, watch the video below to see how!
Did you know (according to Royal National Institute for Deaf People [RNID] website):
In the UK, 1 in 5 adults are deaf or have hearing loss, and 1 in 7 have tinnitus.
Despite that, many people face the stigma of being treated as stupid, shouted at, or made fun of. There’s a frustrating lack of patience, empathy and understanding. Barriers to work, travel, socialising and communication take a toll on self-esteem and mental wellbeing, and cause social isolation. Day-to-day life is more difficult – and this needs to stop.
Widgit offers LGfL schools access to over 15,000 symbols (text or category search filters can be used to download and use individual symbols) and also Widgit Symbol Resource Packs (over 1000 differentiated cross-curricular resources).
Immersive Learning with Sandbox AR is a great way to integrate immersive technology into everyday teaching and indeed allow deaf children to get creative with building their own SandboxAR platforms and spaces. Once you understand what immersion can do - stimulating that emotional response - you can start to understand where you can use immersive technology and immersive content in your teaching as well. Watch the video below:
• Create, build and explore in augmented reality.
• Explore creations in life-size scale!
• Share your sandboxes with other users with a simple QR code.
• Capture snapshots and videos of your Sandbox.
Download the Sandbox AR app for iPad here.
British Sign Language is the most common form of sign language in the UK and has been recognised as a language in its own right since 2003. Find out how you can learn to sign. BSL involves a combination of hand shapes and movements, lip patterns, facial expressions and shoulder movements. It has its own grammar and is structured in a completely different way from English.
Fingerspelling is the BSL alphabet. Certain words – usually names of people and places – are spelt out on fingers. Fingerspelling alone isn’t sign language, but it can help you to communicate with someone who is Deaf.
The Sense Charity put together five signs they think everyone should know (as part of the Sign Language Week in March 2022) #BSLBringsUsTogether.
BSL Signing dictionary - each word has video clips to show you how to sign it.
The Singing Hands Youtube Channel gives Makaton signed singalongs.
Health Assured have also published a blog which provides some useful stats and advice for Deaf Awareness Week and beyond.