Deaf Awareness Week: Why Is It Celebrated & Who Should I Book?
When Is Deaf Awareness Week?
Deaf Awareness Week takes place annually, taking place from the 1st to the 7th of May 2024, to promote the positivity of living with deafness.
What is the Aim of Deaf Awareness Week?
Each year, the week brings awareness to the isolation that deaf people can experience, whilst promoting social inclusion of those with hearing loss. The week also generates awareness of British Sign Language, spreading the form of communication to make society a more accessible place for people with hearing loss.
The UK Council on Deafness supports deaf people and their families, as well as celebrates local organisations that provide support to the deaf community.
Why Should I Celebrate Deaf Awareness Week?
There are 12 million people in the UK who are deaf or suffering from hearing loss of greater than 25 dBHL, and 151,000 people using British Sign Language. It has also been reported that people who are deaf or have hearing loss are 50% more likely to have poor mental health, meaning that is vitally important that we show support to the deaf community.
By 2035, it is estimated that there will be 15.6 million adults with hearing loss, again highlighting the importance of creating a network of support for members of the deaf community to ensure they don’t feel isolated.
It is vitally important that deaf employees are supported in the workplace, with a reported 74% of deaf people feeling that their employment opportunities are limited because of their hearing loss.
How Can I Support Deaf Awareness Week
There are many ways to create a network of support for the deaf community, with one of the biggest ways of supporting them being communicating correctly with them. The top tips for communicating with deaf people are as follows:?
- Always face the person
- Speak clearly, slowly and steadily
- Don’t cover your mouth- so the person can lip read
- Repeat and rephrase if necessary
Additionally, you can do the following to support Deaf Awareness Week:
- Deaf awareness training
- Sign up for the Disability Confidence scheme
- Join the #WeSupportDeafAwareness campaign
- Review your technology – eg. Hearing loop systems and instant video relay services
- Hold a Deaf Awareness Week event & book a deaf awareness speaker
What Kind of Event Can I Hold for Deaf Awareness Week?
Deaf Awareness Week events are all about being inclusive and supportive of the deaf community. These events can be of all shapes and sizes, but make sure that it is not just one week that you support deaf people, but all year round!
Ideas for Deaf Awareness Week events
- Informal coffee morning
- Bake sale to raise money for hearing loss charities
- Workshops on deaf inclusion
- Conferences or keynote speeches on deaf awareness and inclusion
Speakers to book for Deaf Awareness Week events
A fantastic way to create awareness of deafness and hearing loss is by booking a speaker for a deaf awareness conference. Here at the Diversity & Inclusion Speakers Agency, we have a number of speakers who bring awareness to what life is like living with hearing loss or being deaf. Book a speaker to help your workplace or organisation be more inclusive!
A famed member of the Osmond family, Justin Osmond was born with 90% hearing loss and now runs the Olive Osmond Hearing Fund to help deaf children. Born into a musical family, Justin was determined to not be held back by his hearing loss, and persisted to learn the violin, piano and drums as a child. He is also the author of Hearing With My Heart, in which he discusses his experience of hearing loss.
Tony Jacklin is a record-breaking golfer, who is recognised as the most successful British player of his generation. The winner of the 1969 Open Championships and the 1970 US Open, Tony continues to play and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Outside of playing golf, Tony is a Patron of The English Deaf Golf Association, accepting the role to promote the inclusion of deaf and hearing-impaired players. For the past 25+ years, Tony has experienced hearing loss and wears hearing aids, sharing his personal experience of playing golf with a hearing impairment.
A hilarious comedian who has claimed the title of What The Frock Best Newcomer Award winner, Samantha Baines is a passionate hearing loss activist. Sharing with audiences her experiences of hearing loss and wearing a hearing aid, Samantha is also an Ambassador for Action on Hearing Loss. She is regularly seen speaking out on what life is like for people who are deaf or have hearing loss, raising crucial awareness and support for the community.
William Roache is a talented actor, famed for his role as Ken Barlow on Coronation Street. Recently, he marked a milestone achievement and placed himself in the Guinness Book of World Records after he became the longest-serving male television star in a continuous role, acting on Coronation Street for an impressive 60 years! Back in 1953, William lost 50% of his hearing in both ears during his service in the Royal Welch Fusiliers. Today, he continues to share his experience of hearing loss and tinnitus, and how he has dealt with hearing impairment throughout his career.
Jean-Christophe Novelli is a French chef and the creator of the Novelli Academy, named as AA’s Chef of the Year. Also previously the Head Chef to Elie de Rothschild, Jean-Christophe’s cooking school was named as one of the Top 25 Cookery Schools in the World. Due to years of working in noisy kitchens, Jean-Christophe has developed hearing loss and now relies on a hearing aid. Sharing his experiences of cooking in top tier kitchens, Jean-Christophe raises awareness of hearing loss and making workplaces accessible for the deaf community.
Stephanie Beacham is a leading film and theatre actress, famed for her former roles in Tenko, Connie, The Colbys and Dynasty. Born with just 80% hearing in her left ear and no hearing in her right ear, Stephanie launched the Sense-National Deafblind ‘Fill In The Gaps’ campaign and shares her experience of growing up with hearing loss. Despite her hearing impediment, Stephanie has succeeded as a professional actress and was nominated for Best Actress at the Golden Globe Awards, promoting the inclusion of deaf actors and actresses in the industry.
Book a Deaf Awareness Speaker
To improve workplace inclusion and equity, book a speaker who will raise awareness and promote acceptance of the deaf community. All successful within their own right, our speakers share their personal experiences of hearing loss and being deaf, sharing how they live life to the fullest despite having hearing loss. Booking a deaf awareness speaker can help boost team cohesion, and ensuring that deaf people are included in the workplace is vital to ensuring a diverse and inclusive society.
Get in contact with The Diversity and Inclusion Speakers Agency today, to book a speaker to help honour Deaf Awareness Week! Contact us by filling out our online contact form or by calling directly on 0203 9816 297.