Schools, businesses and organisations from every industry in the UK will be recognising Deaf Awareness Week between the 2nd and 8th of May this year.
In previous years, Deaf Awareness Week has taken on many themes, such as ‘Connect and Communicate’ in 2015. This year will be highlighting ‘Common Purpose’ within the deaf community and beyond, with the aim of “celebrating the work the sector has done to define a common purpose and highlighting the work of the mission groups”.
Here at Age UK Group in partnership with Claritas Hearing, we have created an in-depth resource guide of websites and downloads for both the hard of hearing and able to become more confident when approaching certain situations and breaking boundaries when it comes to deaf awareness.
Deaf awareness has grown year on year with advocate organisations encouraging individuals to have their say on matters important to them. Businesses in all industries are investing in deaf awareness courses to promote social and professional inclusion within the workplace.
UK Council on Deafness – Founded in 1993, the UK Council on Deafness is the umbrella body for voluntary organisations working with deaf people in the UK. This has led to the recognition and development of Deaf Awareness Week.
seAp Advocacy – seAp is an independent charity that provides free, independent and confidential advocacy services to help resolve issues or concerns you may have about your health and well-being.
National Association of Deafened People – This charity, also known as NADP, focuses on working with other organisations to let the voices of the deaf community be heard. They assist and campaign for deafened people and enable them to regain their independence and enjoy the best quality of life.
Deaf Education Advocacy Fellowship – DEAF provides committed support to deaf students who are seeking further and higher education opportunities as part of increasing their knowledge.
Deaf Hub – Covering Northamptonshire, Deaf Hub offers a specialist, independent and confidential advocacy service for the deaf and hard of hearing that focuses on empowerment, accessibility and independence.
Image Credit: daveyin (flickr.com)
Whether it be from an early age or right through to the later years in life, educating people about deafness in the community and how technology such as digital hearing aids work is an opportunity to break the barrier between the deaf/hard of hearing and those who are able. There are a great variety of downloads and resources for schools and parents to use and interactive apps for the adults, check out the list below!
Deaf Parents Deaf Children - A unique organisation which specifically caters for deaf parents with deaf children in the UK. DPDC will also be hosting a full day workshop and a variety of activities for children in Wolverhampton towards the end of Deaf Awareness Week, Saturday 7th May from 10am to 4pm.
Deaf Parenting - A charity that provides specialist support for deaf parents, Deaf Parenting focuses on helping deaf parents to achieve positive outcomes for their children across all areas of their lives. Working with those whose first language is British Sign Language, Deaf parenting supports those who face significant barriers around community inclusion.
Cued Speech - Cued Speech makes spoken language visible for deaf babies, children and adults. With the simple system of Cued Speech (CS) they are able to fully learn the English language. Older deafened people can also use CS to clarify lip-patterns which are difficult or impossible to lip-read, they will benefit most if they have a family member or friend to learn to cue with them.
Teach Wire – Teach Wire brings PSHE activities for sign language and hearing loss for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 pupils in association with Hearing Dogs for Deaf People. A resource for both the teacher and parent to gain easy knowledge of deaf awareness at a young age.
DELTA – Deaf Education Through Listening and Talking (DELTA) serves resources for families of severely and profoundly deaf children to develop a natural and effective spoken language. The Natural Aural Approach aims to manage deafness in children whilst enabling them to engage in life experiences and to enjoy a normal childhood.
Talk with Sign - Talk With Sign specialises in books and audio/visual media relating to deafness and deaf culture, from deaf issues to deafness and education in the UK. A great resource for those who want to expand their knowledge about the deaf community, both professionally and socially.
The Buzz – In association with the National Deaf Children’s Society, The Buzz is the place for young deaf and able adults to go to for advice and tips on deaf awareness. Teachers are able to download printable resources and the website is also a perfect platform for young adults to interact and meet likeminded people.
Deaf Umbrella – Specialising in every aspect of deaf awareness for business and education providers, Deaf Umbrella is a service that not only looks after the employer but the employee too. If you are looking for deaf awareness courses in London and the South East London, Deaf Umbrella have got you covered.
Sign Solutions - Providing quality deaf awareness training over the course of one or half a day and also Signature level 1 Deaf & Deafblind awareness training over 2 days. They have recently launched their own BSL Sign & Spell App and have compiled a range of E-learning courses with knowledge-enhancing tasks.
British Sign - For those who aren’t able to access one-to-one training, then British Sign is the go-to place for people who want to learn British Sign language (BSL) in the comfort of their own home and in their own time. The online courses allow for an interactive approach to learning the language and is a great resource for all the family.
British Sign Finger Spelling – This app enables people of all ages to learn, practice and communicate with sign language. Whether you are a sign language beginner or already have experience with the language, it is a great resource to learn from in your own time and at your own pace.
FREE from iTunes
Tap Tap – For the deaf and those with significant hearing loss, Tap Tap is a useful app to help indicate nearby sounds by sending a vibration or alert to your smart phone if you are away from a specific alarm or phone within the home or workplace.
FREE from iTunes
Pedius – Pedius’s intelligent voice recognition software allows for real-time conversations to be had with your friends, family and professionals. Using an artificial voice, or your own, it will translate your written message into a spoken one which is useful if you need the help of an electrician, want to book a restaurant table or talk to your doctor.
FREE on iTunes and Google Play
Vox Sciences – Powered by UK-based technology company VoxSciences, the voice recognition app converts voicemail messages to easy-to-read texts messages. The service is also available for professional offices turning voicemail messages into emails for the deaf or hard of hearing.
FREE on iTunes and Google Play
Ava– Although this is still a work in progress, which will be released for consumer use in the near future, Ava is set to take the deaf community by storm. The app is perfect for those who regularly find themselves in group situations, either professionally or socially. Ava will allow for real-time group conversations between the deaf/hard of hearing and the able, using intelligent technology which picks up and transcribes each individual’s voiced contribution and shows it as a message on the smart phone device. The deaf and hard of hearing will be able see what is being said in real time!
There are some great services out there to support the deaf and hard of hearing through their employment experience, from completing a CV to filling out applications and making sure everything is in place from day one.
As well as specialist interpreting, communication services and sign language training, Clarion UK also provides employment services and workplace assessments. Working throughout the whole of the UK, the company delivers support to deaf people before, during and after employment.
Royal Deaf – Investing in people is at the heart of Royal Deaf’s employment strategy and their advisors help to create a long-lasting sustainable relationship between employee and employer.
Deaf Plus – Working in partnership with Real, a charity focusing their work on disabled people working together for real choices, Deaf Plus provides employment opportunities for individuals across the country who would like employment and career support as well as tackling health inequalities and social isolation amongst the deaf and hard of hearing.
As well as employment and education services, there are a wide range of websites dedicated to giving useful information for the deaf and those around them on how you can get involved, making every opportunity for the deaf just as good as the last.
Hearing Link is a resource which provides leading support for people with hearing loss alongside their families and friends. Including community support volunteers, Hearing Link distributes intensive rehabilitation and self-management programmes to help those understand their hearing loss.
UK Deaf Sport - With an aim to encourage deaf people to participate, enjoy and excel in sports across the board, UK Deaf Sport and its partnering project, Deaf Inclusive, has a directory resource of all deaf sports if you want to try your hand at one or several.
England Deaf Golf - One of the many sports within UK Deaf Sport’s directory is England Deaf Golf. Membership to England Deaf Golf accommodates support and advice for deaf players and the eligibility to be selected as an EDG representative in international competitions.
Image Credit: GotCredit (flickr.com)
Blogs offer a diverse world of communication between the deaf and hard of hearing and also those who find inspiration from the writers. They are a great way to chat, offer advice and support and get to see a different, personal angle on deaf awareness.
Limping Chicken – Described as the world’s most popular deaf blog, Limping Chicken covers all aspects within the Deaf Community, including news, feature posts and opportunities for everyone to interact with the world around them.
Deafinitely Girly – Based on an alter-ego created in 2008, Deafinitely Girly is a life blog about funny deaf-related and real-life topics that the individual has encountered within and outside of the deaf community.
Day in the life of a deafie – Written by E, a 19-year-old profoundly deaf blogger and activist, Day in the life of a deafie is an entertaining take on ‘real life problems, achievements and day to day struggles in a deaf person’s world!’
There are a number of services that support and encourage the growth of deaf awareness, including advancements in hearing technologies and charities who advocate a sense of independence within the deaf community. Take a look at the services that could benefit you, a friend or members of your family.
sports coach UK – sports coach UK have designed a specific training programme for clubs and teams to become deaf aware within their sport. An interactive workshop that will help you develop communication skills so you can fully include deaf people of all ages.
Deaf Action - Deaf Action inspires the deaf community within Scotland to achieve their potential. As well as a host of deaf awareness courses, Deaf Plus also provides social work services to make the transition between school and work as smooth as possible.
Deaf Awareness Technology – Deaf Awareness Technology specialises in induction loop systems, assistive listening and alerting devices for those who are hearing impaired. With a range of products to suit communal spaces, residential areas and personal use, there is something for everyone to benefit from hearing technology.
Ear Foundation – The Ear Foundation gives children, young people and adults the opportunity to communicate with the latest in deaf technologies, including cochlear and bone conducting hearing implants and much more.
Visibility – Visibility’s See Hear Project works with adults and young people living with sight, hearing and dual sensory loss. They work to promote the understanding and knowledge that their services provide within the community and for family and friends of those to become more confident and independent in everyday life.
Hearing Dogs – Hearing Dogs is a charity which trains and prepares dogs to alert their future owner of sounds they can’t hear – a lifeline in many cases. If you would like to know a little more or even sponsor a puppy, then head to their website.
Action Deafness – Action Deafness and their skilled trainers take action on real-life issues faced by people who are deaf and hard of hearing through support, training, resources and, most importantly, community engagement.
Association of Lipspeakers – The Association of Lipspeakers aims to provide and promote good practice of lip speaking within the deaf community and encourage further development of the communication service in the future.
Preventing hearing loss at each stage of life can be difficult as environmental and genetic factors can make a difference in the performance of your hearing. However, our list of resources on hearing loss prevention can help in the combat against degenerative elements.
NHS Choices – A useful resource for those who may be concerned with deterioration in their hearing or who may want to prevent further hearing loss, NHS choices is a simple yet descriptive resource for hearing loss prevention.
Action On Hearing Loss – One of the UK’s leading deaf and hard-of-hearing charities, Action On Hearing Loss, has compiled a resource guide for those who would like to make sure they are protecting their hearing with a list of specialist earplugs and headphones.
HSE Guidance – The Health and Safety Executive is a helpful resource for both the employee and the employer who would like further information on how to prevent hearing loss within the workplace and further factors that will contribute to a healthy hearing work environment.