What is Deaf awareness week and how supporting the event can help create an inclusive workforce and society

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Ways to Support Deaf Awareness Week 2021

What is Deaf awareness week?

Deaf Awareness week is an event created by the UK Council on Deafness which was founded in 1993. They are the umbrella organisation for charities and professional organisations working in the area of deafness. 

Deaf Awareness Week aims to promote the positive aspects of deafness, promote social inclusion, and raise awareness of the huge range of local organisations that support deaf people and their family and friends.

When is deaf awareness week?

Deaf awareness week runs from the 3rd - 9th May 2021 and the theme this year is ‘Coming through it Together’.

https://www.deafcouncil.org.uk/

What happens during deaf awareness week?

Usually during Deaf Awareness week organisations like schools, playgroups and youth clubs are encouraged to hold fun events to celebrate. Learning how to finger spell your name in British Sign Language (BSL), holding your school assembly in sign language or playing some lipreading games can be fun ways to learn about and become Deaf Aware. 

Why is deaf awareness week important?

Deaf Awareness week is important in helping children and adults understand and come together in both educational events and as a community. It is designed to increase awareness of deaf issues, deaf people and their culture.

What is the purpose of deaf awareness week?

The purpose of Deaf Awareness week is to create a greater understanding and community who recognise that being deaf, hard of hearing or deafened is not a disability, rather that we as humans have the intelligence and capability to communicate and achieve in a multitude of ways.

What funs events can we do?

  • Learn to spell your name using British Sign Language (BSL). 
  • Learn how to sign common greetings and responses.
  • Learn how to say common courtesy words (Please, Thank you, Hello etc)
  • Experience and participate in lip reading games.
  • Learn how to sign and respond to simple questions (What is your name? /Where do you live? etc)

How can we focus on the deaf community during deaf awareness week?

Deaf Awareness week is designed to provide more clarity about the deaf community, challenges faced and contributions made by deaf people. This week has the headline of ‘Coming Through It Together’ which is focusing on how the Deaf community is really coping during and after COVID-19.

To become more aware during this month, consider participating in some of the following:

  • Volunteer for a non-profit organisation that assists deaf people: This could be a school or community organisation.
  • Create content that offers closed captioning for accessibility: If you create video content try adding subtitles to improve the reach of your posts or Vlogs.
  • Improve your technology: Offering a hearing loop system or instant video relay services allows deaf people to communicate instantly with hearing people.

Deaf awareness training

Deaf Awareness week provides the perfect opportunity to talk about deaf issues with your staff and introduce Deaf Awareness and British Sign Language Basics training to your staff teams. Giving your employees the confidence and skills to communicate with deaf or hard of hearing colleagues, customers or clients is vital.

We have seen the confidence that Deaf Awareness training often gives employees, especially those who are working in customer service facing jobs. 

Through expert Deaf Awareness training utilising fun, interactive, anecdotal and thought-provoking content, removes barriers faced by deaf people and gives a feeling of confidence when communicating with those that have hearing loss that will have long lasting benefits for your business.


Written by:
Emm Sharpe

Study Sharpe offers a collection of custom corporate, business and one to one deaf awareness courses and training. Our BSL sign language training courses are available online and offer a tailored courses to teach employees how to deal more effectively with D/deaf people.

Our courses are designed for employees who work in sectors that come in to contact socially or commercially with deaf people for example: Healthcare, Recruitment, Construction, Public Services, Education, Institutions or Hospitality.

Find out how we can help your business become more inclusive and remove barriers both internally and externally with their Fully supported online teaching and remote learning courses for teams and individuals.

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