‘Don’t Exclude Deaf People’, Says Charity


A DEAF people’s charity has urged people in the Burton area to follow top communication tips to avoid excluding or making life more difficult for those with hearing loss.

Action on Hearing Loss (AHL) timed its call to coincide with Deaf Awareness Week, scheduled to run from Monday until Sunday, May 6 to 12.

The charity wants people to mark the initiative by following these top tips:

*Ensure they have the other person’s attention before they start speaking;

*Choose places with good lighting – they are best for lip-reading – and little or no background noise for conversations;

*Face the person being spoken to so they can lip-read and speak clearly, using plain language, normal lip movements and facial expressions;

*Check if people understand what is being said and, if not, attempt to say it differently;

*Keep voices down as it is uncomfortable for a hearing aid user to be shouted at. It also appears aggressive;

*Learn finger-spelling or basic Sign Language.

AHL chief executive Paul Breckell said: “One in six Burton residents have some form of hearing loss and many will avoid social occasions or have difficulty at work because they struggle to follow conversations when speaking with people who are not deaf aware.

“During Deaf Awareness Week we are encouraging everyone to follow our communication tips and help remove unnecessary barriers preventing people with hearing loss from joining in everyday fun conversations or important discussions.”

The charity is also inviting people to visit its website – http://www.actiononhearingloss.org.uk/daw2013 – to watch videos highlighting how difficult communication is for people who live life without sound.

AHL’s website asks visitors to take part in a fun challenge to lip-read and guess what is said from examples of everyday conversation.

It hopes this will show just how confusing everyday speech can be for people who are deaf.

The charity is also encouraging Burton residents to ‘zip it’ during Deaf Awareness Week by holding sponsored silences in schools, colleges or workplaces to raise funds for the charity’s work supporting people with hearing loss.

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