This Deaf Awareness Week (2-8 May), national charity RNID are encouraging people in London to make sure they are confident communicating with their family and friends who are deaf or have hearing loss.
New research conducted on behalf of the charity by nfpSynergy reveals that just over one quarter of people in London (28%) feel confident communicating with someone who has hearing loss. RNID know that many people in London would like to put this right and are sharing simple communication tips to show what a difference small changes can make.
Teri Devine, Associate Director for Inclusion at RNID, said: ‘1 in 5 adults in London are deaf or have hearing loss, and this week we want to help everyone understand how they can communicate better with their deaf friends and neighbours.
“Simple changes can really help, like facing the person when you speak and ensuring you are in a well lit and quiet room. This can make the difference between your friend or family member being part of the conversation or left struggling on the side-lines.
“Everyone is different so always ask the person how they would like you to communicate with them. People may want you to write things down or use speech to text apps to translate what you’re saying. If you normally wear a face covering in public, consider using one with a clear panel so someone with hearing loss can lipread you, or remove it at a safe distance. You could also consider learning some BSL, as even knowing a few basic signs can make a big difference.”
RNID is also promoting its free communication card which helps people in London who are deaf or have hearing loss explain their communication needs when they are out and about. People can personalise the card to include their top three communication needs.