1 in 6 people in the UK are affected by hearing loss. 6.5 million of these people are aged 60 and over and 3.7 million are of working age. About 800,000 are profoundly deaf and around 2 million people in the UK have hearing aids, according to the UK Council on Deafness.
This week, we are supporting Deaf Awareness Week - a campaign promoted by the UK Council on Deafness to celebrate the collaborative work that has made a difference for people who are deaf or have hearing loss.
Members of the UK Council on Deafness have united behind a common vision this year to raise awareness and improve access to education and employment. This week is also about making sure people who are deaf or hard of hearing have all the information they need. Many face communication barriers which can cause exclusion from society, isolation, depression and unemployment.
Work is being done to educate people about the importance of preventing hearing loss and improving the quality of services for people who are deaf or have a hearing loss.
“Sector working effectively together”
Jim Edwards, Chair of the UK Council on Deafness said: “This year’s Deaf Awareness Week celebrates the fact our sector is effectively working together for the benefit of people who are deaf or have hearing loss.
“The BSL Scotland Act, significant improvements to Access to Work, more public and private services accessible to BSL users, a government led review of the market communication and language support – none of these things would have happened if we hadn’t pulled together.
“And we look forward to learning more about the local collaborative work going around the UK during Deaf Awareness Week. We encourage everyone to shout about what they’ve been doing and let us know so we can tell government.”
Things to remember
If you meet a deaf person, remember to:
- Face the person while you are speaking, don’t turn away
- Speak clearly without shouting
- Repeat yourself without shouting
- Never say “it doesn’t matter”
- If the person doesn’t understand you, don’t give up
- Write down or draw a picture.
If you are deaf or suffering from hearing loss, you can find out what help may be available to you through benefits, grants or other financial support. Depending on your personal situation, you may find the information on the Ill, Injured or Disabled section of our website useful.
To find out what help may be available from grant giving charities, you can use the Turn2us Grants Search which contains details of over 3000 charitable funds.
Find an Adviser
You can also use our Find an Adviser tool to find face-to-face advice in your local area.
Further information resources
UK Council on Deafness: the umbrella body for volunteer bodies working with deaf or people suffering from hearing loss.
Action on Hearing Loss - the charity representing the 11 million people confronting deafness and hearing loss in the UK.
UK Council on Deafness press release